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Sunday Devotion: 28 February 2021, Second Sunday in Lent

Sunday Devotions

Can I have some chocolate now?

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main Readings: Genesis 17.1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22.24-32; Romans 4.13-25; Mark 8.31-38 or Mark 9.2-9 [Transfiguration Gospel]

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 121; Galatians 1.11-24; Jeremiah 11.9-20; Psalm 119.49-56; Mark 14.27-52

“From you springs my praise in the great congregation” (Psalm 22.26)

As a young schoolboy I was told that Lent was a time to ‘give things up’, which usually seemed to mean chocolate! Lent was a miserable time for me, as I liked chocolate a lot! Easter, and the filled eggs, seemed an inordinate time away. Often Lent seems like this, we focus on psalms of lament, we choose less exuberant hymns to sing, and we long for the bright sounds and signs of Easter. Does this mean that joyful praise is put on hold?

Not at all. Our psalm this week reminds us that we can still give praise in the dark times. The psalm which begins with the words that Jesus quotes on the Cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”, goes on to affirm that God does not hide God’s face from us, as he hears us as we cry to him (verse 25). And this, indeed, leads us to praise.

We are reminded that even in dark times and in times of waiting, God is with us and offers his assurance of the ‘Easter’ that is to come. As we live with this hope, it is something that we can tell our friends about as we sing our praise in ‘the great congregation’.

So, can I have some chocolate now?

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