Daily reflection for the Season of Lent

Day Two – Thursday 18th February 2021

Eat less chocolate and consume more sparrows!

Recently I came across some good advice to help reduce our consumption of chocolate:

  • Replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate. Look for chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cocoa. The darker the chocolate the better. Not only is dark chocolate healthier than milk chocolate, but it is also richer. Eating 2 to 3 squares of dark chocolate instead of your regular chocolate bar should do the trick.
  • Drink chocolate-infused tea. Chocolate-infused tea will give you the taste of chocolate without all the added sugar and fat. Whenever you are craving chocolate, make yourself a mug of chocolate tea.  If you cannot purchase chocolate-infused tea locally, try any type of herbal tea.
  • Brush your teeth whenever you feel like eating chocolate. Brushing your teeth will distract you from your urge to eat chocolate. Additionally, since the taste of toothpaste does not mix well with chocolate, brushing your teeth may prevent you from wanting to eat it afterward.
  • Talk to a counsellor or a therapist. If your consumption of chocolate does not seem to be getting better despite your efforts, then you may need to find more serious help. Ask your GP for a therapist referral or call your local psychological association to find therapists in your area. You could try asking a local religious institution, like a church or synagogue, for help.

There is however another point of view. For many people, the current pandemic and lockdown is really stretching their ability to remain focussed and stay positive. This is probably not the right time to start heaping more pressure on yourself with unrealistic or unachievable goals. Rather learn how to nestle. Snuggle up to those comforting routines which help you manage stress. Surround yourself with positive influences and activities which help you start and end the day feeling good about life and yourself.

Bible Reading

Matthew 10:29-31
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

In the ancient world, sparrows were an important source of food. With great effect Jesus takes these abundant unglamorous creatures to teach an important lesson about God’s love.
Think about this.  In God’s eyes you are more precious than many sparrows. Even the hairs on your head are numbered. How does this make you feel knowing that you are loved beyond measure and God’s knowledge of you is thorough and complete?

The Sparrows Prayer

before this sparrow's earthly flight
Ends in the darkness of a winter's night
Father, without whose word no sparrow falls,
Hear this, Thy weary sparrow when he calls.
Mercy, not justice, is his contrite prayer.
Cancel his guilt and drive away despair;
Speak but the word, and make his spirit whole,
Cleanse the dark places of his heart and soul,
Speak but the word, and set his spirit free;
Mercy, not justice, still his constant plea.
So shall Thy sparrow, crumpled wings restored.
Soar like a lark, and glorify his Lord.

Prayer attributed to the late Lord Hailsham, former Lord Chancellor


May God the Father,
who does not despise the broken spirit,
give to you a contrite heart.
May Christ,
who bore our sins in his body on the tree,
heal you by his wounds.
May the Holy Spirit,
who leads us into all truth,
speak to you words of pardon and peace.
And the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.