The Rev’d Derek Arnold
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DAILY REFLECTION 3 September 2021
Today’s reflection is by our Team Rector, Rev’d Derek Arnold and can be heard on the Website http://tcmc.church
READING Luke 5.33-39
Then they said to him, ‘John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink.’ Jesus said to them, ‘You cannot make wedding-guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.’ He also told them a parable: ‘No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, “The old is good.”’
Jesus knew his days were numbers and that his death would happen quite soon. But it wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would be a day for time off, a celebration, a day when we would put on our best clothes and the atmosphere of life would be altogether change. And this change he describes for us a few little pictures.
There will be those who will be prepared to take bits and pieces of his new message and sew them into the fabric of their own old ideas where they had become worn away. However what sensible person takes pieces of a new dress they have just cut up to patch something which has had its day. Jesus says, my message is meant as a total replacement, not something which is a useful patch.
Then there will be those who want all of the new, provided they can keep hold of the old, which simple won’t work and that is when Jesus talks about the wineskins, which were in fact goatskins sewed together at the edges to form watertight bags.
New wine expands as it ages, therefore it needs to be put into new pliable wineskins and not an old one, which after use becomes more rigid and would burst. Jesus is saying that the brittle wineskins of our old beliefs will not be able to hold it, therefore you must discard them altogether.
The Pharsees and the leaders of the day, were like the old wineskins, too rigid to accept Jesus, who could not be contained in their tradition or rules. The new Christianity required new approaches, new traditions, and new structures.
And today, we need to be careful that our church worship, meetings, and ministries don’t become too rigid and structured that they become so closed and miss a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit, a new way, or a new idea of how to do things.
We too must be careful not to allow our hearts to become to rigid to the new things that Christ brings. Our hearts must remain pliable and open to Jesus’ life-changing message.
who called your Church to bear witness
that you were in Christ reconciling the world to yourself:
help us to proclaim the good news of your love,
that all who hear it may be drawn to you;
through him who was lifted up on the cross,
and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen