Readings for 5th Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37.1-14,, Romans 8.6-11; and John 11:1-45
Saturday 1 April
In Henning Mankell’s novel ‘The fifth Woman’, Linda, Wallander’s daughter, asks her father, “Why is it so difficult to live in Sweden”. He replies “Sometimes I think it’s because we’ve stopped darning our socks. When I was growing up, Sweden was still a country where people darned their socks … then suddenly, one day, it was over; socks with holes in them were thrown out, no one bothered to repair them, the whole society changed. Wear it out then toss it was the only rule that applied.
As long as it was just a matter of our socks a change didn’t make much difference, but then it started to spread, until finally it became a kind of invisible moral cold. I think it changed our view of right and wrong, of what you were allowed to do to other people and what you weren’t. More and more people, especially young people feel unwelcome in their own county. How do they react; with aggression and contempt. The most frightening thing is that I think we’re only at the beginning of something that’s going to get a lot worse. A generation is growing up right now …. who are going to react with even greater violence and they have absolutely no memory of a time when we darned our socks. When we didn’t throw everything away, weather it was our woollen socks or human beings.
Question: Did Jesus darn socks? He certainly didn’t throw away relationships. For him people were children of God, they were the ‘Imago Dei’ of God. So, what has that got to say about how we approach people who would appear different today? What are the consequences of drawing closer to God during this Lenten period, and what does the approaching Holy Week and Easter story mean for us in today’s world? Should we learn to darn socks?