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The Second Sunday of Lent

Genesis 17.1–7, 15, 16
Romans 4.13–25
Mark 8.31–38

The Old Testament readings for Lent this year are encouraging us to think about covenants. Last week we had the covenant with Noah, this week we have Abraham, and next week – let me give you a sneak preview – we get the Ten Commandments. On a superficial reading, covenants are a good choice for Lent, because they remind us about obligations, about promises made between two parties, about duty. But actually, both the covenant with Noah and the one with Abraham seem to undermine that serious, disciplined note, because it is not until we come on to next week’s reading that we start to hear about our side of the bargain – be sure not to miss next week’s thrilling episode.

But as God speaks both to Noah and to Abraham, the duties are all on one side – God’s. God promises huge things to both of them, and asks almost nothing in return... 

Taken from Lectionary Reflections – Year B by Jane Williams

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