Well, well, well – First Sunday on sabbatical and the first of many worship experiences – where I have no responsibility! So at one end of the eclectic range of worship I find brings me closer to God – I went to Hillsong in Tonbridge. The novelty of no responsibility – arriving 2 minutes before it started and walking away at the end was obvious. It is the first time I have been to worship which was definitely too loud (but that makes me feel very middle-aged!), but it was great to be surrounded by people getting in to it. Another first was 2 calls for money to support the work, first for the church and then the broadcast speaker. And that of course was another first – watching a preaching broadcast from Bermondsey!
It was a very challenging talk about the new wine passage in Luke’s gospel 5;37-39 and a worship song I really liked, spoke to my heart (See the link above!)
Jesus said: 37 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.39 And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, “The old is better.”’*
I have been mulling over the interpretation of the passage ever since. The speaker was challenging us to grow – He described 3 types of growth in the Bible, physical growth, growth through our conscious effort and growth through the action of an outside power (meaning the Holy Spirit).
He used the passage to say we need to let go of the old to grow, and love the new to be fruitful. There were a series of challenging thoughts on how (and a good applied section of the talk which I appreciated)
- We need to grow new wine skins to be ready for the new wine.
- Are we willing to be stretched and let go of what has always been?
- We always need to live life sowing new seeds.
- New wine is coming when you start feeling bothered and dissatisfied with yourself.
- We need to be soft and pliable in the Lord, and delight in his work in us.
I have done some study on the old and new wine verses since this talk. Jesus was speaking into a situation where he was bringing something new, wholly and profoundly different – he was not a patch, repairing the old, and was not to be constrained by the bounds of the old either. We need to be cautious of treating the new wine of the Spirit’s work, as inferior to the old tried and tested wine of our previous experiences. One of the commentaries “You can’t put new ideas into old mind-sets. You can’t get new results with old behaviours.” Food for thought…
*New International Version – UK (NIVUK)
Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.