We love old stuff! Movies and music. Cars and clothes. Books and biographies. Old things are comfortable and safe. The NEW parts of life—from tangible, material things to attitudes and behaviors—are unpredictable and uncertain. Risky and unsettling.
Old things and established ways of looking at life—both secular and spiritual—produce feelings of comfort and safety. We then pass them through our reflective lens to animate our present context to either salve its wounds or amplify its euphoric bliss.
Of course this is nothing new. Here is God’s take…
“…Nor does anyone pour new wine into used wine-skins, because the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be ruined. Instead, new wine must be poured into fresh wine-skins.” Mark 2:21-22
When Jesus walked the earth, aged animal-hide wine-skins became dry and brittle. In that condition, they could only store non-fermenting OLD wine. Since new wine continues to ferment and would bust the old wine-skin, it needed to be stored in a NEW, pliable wine-skin that could expand.
People then and now are willing to bypass, neglect, or suppress the NEW in an attempt to save the OLD. That is the unfortunate reality TODAY in the life of many Christians.
Jesus is not saying old is good or bad. He is warning us to watch out for our natural tendency to resist change by gripping “the old way.” To watch out for giving it unwarranted value just because it’s old. To watch out for using the comfort of something old to tranquilize our fears.
GOD’S MESSAGE? Time had run out on the old system and those who had ears to hear and faith to respond needed to embrace God’s new, redeeming work through Jesus Christ.
I ask God to help me avoid gripping “the old ways” of life that are in the way of my obedience to him and not allow the comfort of something old to tranquilize my fear.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Got any old wine-skins hanging around?
“And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say the old is better.” Luke 5:39