Saturday, July 7, 2018
Today, in Mercy, in our Gospel passage, some of the Baptist’s disciples come to question Jesus. They are confused that they have been encouraged to fast and repent while Jesus’ disciples are feasting and rejoicing. They put the question to Jesus very directly.
But, typical of Jesus, He doesn’t answer directly. He answers with metaphors. He could simply have said, “They don’t fast because I’m God, and they feel fulfilled in my presence.” But that kind of direct answer is a conversation-ender.
Jesus, like most great teachers, enjoyed metaphors. They’re conversation starters. They open up a whole world of consideration far beyond the initial question.
So Jesus, perhaps fingering the tattered sleeve of someone’s tunic, suggests to these questioners, – You know, your faith is like an old piece of cloth. It resists new possibilities. Then, maybe pouring them a cup of wine, He indicates that they need to stretch and freshen their ideas about God. “Old wine skins can’t hold new wine.”
Most people resist the stretching that life brings us. Most times, we prefer things the way they are. We’d rather be comfortable, fasting with a well-defined god than to be stretched and re-woven by the spiritual opportunities of our lives.
But God is always making new wine, always offering a challenging, deeper invitation to holiness. These invitations come in many forms:
- to shift our inner focus point from self to others
- to open our minds and hearts to people who differ from us
- to change the way we interact with the earth’s resources
- to deepen our political consciousness with moral understanding
- to confront toxic habits and policies in ourselves and others
- to endure difficulty, loss and pain with an Easter confidence
Living with that kind of holy openness to God makes our life a feast, not a fast. What invitation is pouring out of your life today?
Music: New Wine – Hillsong Worship