Mark 2:13-22: ‘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. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins…but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.’
Today the trash I put out for collection includes storage bins from my garage. I need some of the individual items in the bins, but the containers themselves cause more problems than they solve. I feel guilty discarding them, but they hinder my reorganization efforts.
It can be more difficult to examine various vessels we use in life than to examine their contents. In spirituality, we have to consider not only prayers and worship, for example, but also the forms that those prayers and worship take.
Jesus, in his teaching, addressed the need for throwing out old ‘containers’ in order to bring about a transformation: both personal and societal. He said, “No one…puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins…” He cautioned against trying to make God’s new way to fit into old forms of worship, prayer, and belief.
I find it easier to consider and to change the contents of my religious life, but I find it intimidating to think of changing forms and ‘containers.’ But are those forms working to being me closer to God, as they should?
Or are the containers getting in the way of the cleanup?
Psalms 16, 17; Isaiah 42:1-17; Ephesians 3:1-13
Copyright 2021 by Carol Mead. For noncommercial use and sharing only. For more information on this ministry, and on a free subscription to these meditations, please contact the author by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).