Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Do You Like New Wine?

As a non-wine connoisseur I don’t fully know how to relate to Jesus’ teaching about old wine and new wine. Luke 5:39 (NIV) And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, `The old is better.'" I gather from Jesus’ illustration that aged wine is preferable to freshly made wine.

He is talking about new wine to help us understand something in the spiritual through something that is apparent in the natural. New wine represents the present or today. It is not about yesterday. Jesus makes it clear that in the same way that people prefer old wine, that they will prefer yesterday spiritually. It is why traditions and rituals are the favorite pastimes of us all. The innovator of today becomes tomorrow's pillar promoting the past.

Living in the ‘now’ is actually very challenging for me. I’m not really thrilled with asking God for my ‘daily’ bread. I have a fridge, 3 freezers and a large pantry. I like enjoying ‘today’ with the security of yesterday at my beck and call.

In the same way I like religion that is predictable and ritualistic. Sure, I can put it in new garments like a new building or a new worship song once in a while, but generally I prefer living in the known. Believe it or not I actually like religious services that are scheduled and meet my expectations. I don’t like being like a little child in which each day is a wonderful mystery unfolding before my eyes.

In a blog by Ashleigh, she describes a wonderful experience of living in the 'now'. I don't know of any religious structures that could have accomplished that life embracing, 'spiritual' experience. I have a deep sense that that is God's desire for us. Expect the unexpected should be the norm of everyone of God's children.

Jesus never stopped shocking people in the 'now'. He seemed to love living as the I AM. Exod 3:14 (NKJV) And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, `I AM has sent me to you.' "

Since, I AM, is living in us, it follows that the “now” needs a wineskin that can contain it. Interesting enough the only wineskin (structure) that is pliable enough to contain the present is you and I. This is why Peter describes us this way;
1Pet 2:4 (NIV) As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- 5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

When we describe our relationship with “I AM” through structures that are made from yesterday, ie. buildings, rituals, traditions, we miss out on the wonder of ‘today’. Religious structures and systems are simply not responsive enough to keep up with the God of “today”.

What does all this mean? Do you like new wine?

1 comment:

Ashleigh said...

Hey....I got LINKED! Cool beans!

Yeah that was definitely a "living in the now" experience for the record books....Interestingly enough, though, it wasn't until I started building my friendship with Jamie that I started really living at all. Before that, I was entirely too busy listening to what others expected of me (and following suit nicely, I might add), to take the time to stop and listen to what GOD expected of me. As soon I opened my ears, I feel like God began to finally open up the "windows of heaven" to me and began showering me with so many blessing that I don't know what to do with them all (according to Malachi 3:10)

Just one of the many examples of God's word literally coming to pass in my life...Each example leaves me more awestruck than the last.