Sunday, March 13, 2011

new wine and new wineskins

Mark 2:18-28
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the bottles destroyed; but new wine is to be put in new (fresh) wineskins.

There was a large cement stadium near our home at Foley Field. It has been there for all of my life, however, the last few years it had begun to crumble, and the town voted to have it rebuilt. Today I drove past it, and the large impressive cement structure had been reduced to rubble, large broken up stones waiting to be carted away. Such is life. Old things crumble and can no longer be used, and new things come to take their place.

The same with the Church. The message of good news stays the same, the essence of it, but as culture changes, the expression of it morphs to speak to the next generation. Also, as the scribes show here, sometimes our religious systems get too inbred and we lose the meanings of the law, and instead merely follow the traditions and the rules. It is not that good men mean to go astray, but the truth is, even for the righteous, there is a danger to go off to the left or the right. But God is faithful to allow old damaging ways to begin to crumble, and to be bring in the new to take its place.

As now I am the older woman, it is getting easier for me to hold onto the predictable and comfortable when in fact, it is crumbling and really dangerous like the Foley stadium was.

My grandson, Giovanni, will never remember the old cement Foley stadium. At age 4, he is too young. He will always remember whatever will be built in its place. However, the spirit of the place, a place where town sports can be enjoyed, will remain the same.

Father, help me not fear when the old crumbles, but trust in You, that You are always doing a new thing, and it is good.

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