September 2, 2016 - Old Wineskins

“No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one.
Otherwise, he will tear the new
and the piece from it will not match the old cloak.
Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins.
Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins,
and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined.
Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins.
And no one who has been drinking old wine desires new,
for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

Luke 5:33-39

Jesus warns us over and over again that his message will be rejected.  He doesn’t say this to impress us with his magical ability to predict his own crucifixion.  He tells us this so that we’ll be on guard – his message is not an obvious one.  If we simply graft it onto our existing expectations of God instead of allowing it to completely re-form our expectations of God we will miss it and actually reject it. 

Our “old” expectation of God is that He demands that we act morally and lovingly.  But who among us opposes love?  We might be tempted to hold onto that expectation.  We might say, “the old is good”.  We might exert enormous effort trying to understanding God through that old lens, but if we pour it into the wineskin of our moral expectations, we will get nowhere.