picture of pancakes on a plate next to the text 40 acts of kindness the truth about pancakes

21 February 2023

If we were to tell you that today was all about fasting you might not believe us, but it’s true! Pancake Day is all about fasting, and here’s why…

Pancake Day aka Mardi Gras aka Fat Tuesday aka Shrove Tuesday, was originally used as a feast day so Christians could get rid of all of the food in their parlours in preparation for a 40 day fast. The 40 days of fasting make up the season in the Christian calendar called Lent and the reason some Christians do this fast is to help them to remember Jesus’ 40 days and nights of fasting in the wilderness before He began His public ministry.

You can find the biblical accounts of this period in Luke Chapter 4, Matthew Chapter 4 and Mark Chapter 1:12-13.

Fasting has become really popular in recent times with the emergence of health and fitness types promoting the benefits of intermittent fasting. However, the early Christians didn’t fast in order to lose weight or get ripped, but rather they saw it as a spiritual discipline to give up food/worldly pleasures and luxuries in order become more aware of their spiritual state and draw closer to God. Some might say it’s starving the physical part of us in order to feed the spiritual part of us.

Now today, we know a lot of people struggle to miss a meal never mind fasting for 40 days, and if you’ve never fasted before, going without food for 40 days wouldn’t really be advisable even if you do get to eat on Saturdays. (Often people will eat on either a Saturday or Sunday in observation of the Sabbath or The Lord’s Day).

So we’ve created a 40 day Acts of Kindness Wallchart that you can download and attempt to observe the season of Lent, although it’s not fasting it draws on the principles of selflessness, kindness and sacrifice and helps you remember what this season is all about.