“…new wine is for fresh skins…”
Why do your followers not…doesn’t that sound familiar? A typically human response – we want everyone to do as we do, to think as we think, we want life to follow along “same old, same old”. And when they don’t or life changes, we point fingers, we accuse, we villainize or ostracize – anything to not have to face the truth! But in truth, can life stay the same and never change? Would that even be healthy? What would life be like, really, if we all did everything alike and never challenged or thought outside the box? BORING!
Jesus’ response is a wake-up call – pay attention! When the bridegroom is with you – CELEBRATE. Jesus came to make things new, not just to ‘patch up’ or revert back – why would he, it never works – the cloth will just tear again – and the ‘rip’ will actually be bigger and more tattered. New wine needs new skins – new containers – it needs the elasticity and flexibility to contain the freshness and flavor of the new wine.
This Covid pause is preparing us for something new – are we open to the discovery; are we open to living into new skins? Are we willing to look within first, let God show us where we need to grow, what ‘outdated’ thoughts, biases, judgments, fears or hurts are causing us to typically say “Why do you not…” what can we do to change the way we walk with the other so that we can be open to the new, to live within the both/and rather than the right/wrong? Do we recognize the bridegroom in our midst and dare to celebrate rather than flagellate – what is God asking of you today and this time when we prepare to emerge from Covid – will we be better or worse? Who is our Jesus? And what is he asking of us – individually and collectively?
Faith Offman is the Associate Director of Ministry at St. Paul of the Cross Passionist Retreat and Conference Center in Detroit, Michigan.