Scripture: Mark 2:13–22
Key verses: (18-22) Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.
21 “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
Reflection: The Pharisees were disciplined; fasting, tithing and reading God’s word. They prayed faithfully but they did not accept Jesus. When God poured out new wine, it was lost on them. The Pharisees were dedicated to their spiritual disciplines and missed a real connection to God. Can we make the same mistake today? Do we recognize Jesus as he shows up in our world?
God continues to do new things today. Drawing from Jesus’ metaphor, our desire is to drink the new wine, the truth of the good news. This wine is to be poured out into fresh wineskins. New wine brings new and creative ways to pray or worship. New wine brings to our hearts the injustices facing our culture and the opportunity to join in the work for justice. New wine brings compassion and kindness to take the lead in our daily lives.
New wine helps us take notice. New wine heightens our awareness that God is at work. New wine invites us to listen to new voices in culture and even look for those voices. Some may look different than we could ever have imagined. Thanks be to God.
Prayer: Loving and patient God, don’t give up on us. We are slow, but it is our deepest desire to bring about the Kingdom of God here on earth. Thank you for the new day to being again. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].