New WineskinsWritten by Rev._Smith on Jan 18, 2010 in Pastor's Blog - No Comments
Today during my devotional time I looked at the passage where Jesus was teaching those gathered about the reason why his disciples do not fast as the disciples of the pharisees and John the baptizer. His response is curious, because he begins with a familiar metaphor of being the bridegroom and that there will be time for mourning later. A wedding celebration followed by mourning, is strange enough and easily misunderstood both then and today. What I found to be equally confusing is that Jesus switches the image lesson to be that of a new patch of clothe on an old cloak and new wine into old wine skins. Both result in the making the situation worse off than before ending in loss.
Is Jesus challenging us to be new wine skins and cloaks or is it something else? Remember he began his teaching by pointing to himself as the focus, the bridegroom, the reason why his disciples are not fasting. I believe that Jesus is modeling for us that we must strive to be flexible like a young wineskin and fresh cloak. I know that many others have said this before, but what strikes me is that we have a difficult time applying this to ourselves.
As a new leader of the Church it is easy for me to assume that, due to my “youth” that I less in danger of being an old wineskin. How foolish and wrong! It is the younger generation who is probably more at risk of becoming old inflexible wine skins than others. Why? We are tempted to believe (almost to a fault) that we are bringing the progressive, “new” word, open-minded model of ministry that previous generations are incapable of embodying. If we allow ourselves to go done this path we will burst when the wine is added for we have concluded that our way can not be critiqued, because it is new.
So today, new or veteran leader of the Church, I invite you to pray with me:
Lover of creation,
You mercy is a beautiful gift that is the source of our hope.
Grant today that I may head the words of Jesus;
that I will remain flexible in ministry so that the fresh wine
of the Holy Spirit will fill me up instead of causing me to burst.
I offer this through the blessed Son’s name Jesus who has been lifted high for all.