Time to get a new
And Jesus said to them, “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.”
At the marriage in Cana the old wine ran out. The old wine was made with human effort, over a period of many years – but it could not meet the need – it ran out. This is a parable of life under the old way of doing things. The old wine runs out; no longer satisfies or is sufficient. The Lord has come to give us new wine, new life. He stands ready to fill us with His new wine.
Jesus came bringing a very powerful message. He promised us spiritual gifts that go beyond everyday life experience. He offers us freedom from sin and a law that drew heavy penalties for sin – chiefly the penalty of death. Instead He tells us that He has paid the price once and for all. He promises us immortality, a future life liberated from death, sickness, disease, poverty, and isolation. He lets us know that no matter, there is a future for each of us. He gave more than a bunch of promises; instead He made co-heirs and true children of God, His brothers and sisters. We have power that goes beyond this world. This is His new wine.
This powerful message does not work on those beholden to the old ways. In fact it causes them to burst in anger and retribution (old wineskins). Old wineskins are hard and unyielding.
We must be those new wineskins, ready to receive the Lord’s new wine. We must be people of His new way.
In the same way, Jesus draws the parallel to patching a garment. You cannot sew unshrunken cloth to a torn old garment; it will only make the tear worse. Jesus wants to clothe us with an entirely new garment of salvation, our baptismal robes. People beholden to old ways don’t want to change their old shrunken and torn ways for new ones. We, on the other hand, have to be ready to receive Jesus’ new ways – His garment.
As we come to the close of our Pre-Lenten season we have to ask ourselves whether we are ready to enter into the Great Lent ahead. It is not just being ready to give up chocolate, or meat, or acting angry toward a rude driver, but ready to be new wineskins – flexible and open to receiving Jesus’ new wine – His message. Will we allow ourselves to be filled, changed, and molded by Him? Are we ready to put on new clothes? With commitment to following Jesus and living His way we will hold Him and wear Him into life everlasting.