New Wine - Day 3


So, what is old wine?

In a word, Vinegar. . .

That’s not great.

One of my earliest memories of being at my wife’s family home was when we had gone on a walk one chilly December morning. We walked a long time, as we often do. We were hungry by the time we returned to the house, but most of all, we were thirsty.

We first went to the refrigerator to grab some ice-cold water. Sara, my wife, reached into the fridge, grabbed a big container of water, tore off the cap, and began to drink giant long draughts of clean and cold water.

Then her eyes got huge, and she threw the container away. I couldn’t tell what was happening, as she couldn’t seem to speak at all. She was choking, but she also couldn’t breathe. I kept asking her questions, but they didn’t seem to help. She was in pain but was unable to communicate what was happening in the moment.

After just a moment, she was able to breathe and speak again. She told me that she had grabbed what she thought was water, but it was vinegar, and she had taken a big swig before she realized.

Twenty-eight years later, we look back and laugh, but at that moment, the vinegar was the last thing she needed, wanted, or would quench her thirst. She was okay, but not until she could rid herself of the foul liquid she had mistaken for life-giving water. The vinegar was toxic, particularly in those kinds of ratios.

And this is true of anything less than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Whatever else has inhabited that wineskin has long since become vinegar, and it was thrown out. Therefore, the wineskin has become inflexible, dry, and cracked. We need a new vessel, a new people, and a new creation.

Luckily, as we learned before, Jesus is in the “new creation” business. Something that can take the new wine, grow to the intended size, and be flexible enough to handle even more.

Galatians 6:15 says, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.”

In some ways, we are being told that what made the old wine old is no longer in play, for there is something new that we need to focus on that is being created and that will take the place of the old.

This is hard for many of us, as we are often so comfortable in our ways we don’t want anything to change. However, not only must we change, but we must allow ourselves to be changed by the grace and power of Jesus Christ for us to be those new creations. It does also mean that some things must be left behind. New wine demands new wineskins.

  1. When you buy a new phone, do you get rid of your old phone? 
  2. If not, what do you do with it? Does it stay around in a drawer and clutter things up? 
  3. What must you let go of to be a new creation in Christ? 
  4. What should the church look to get rid of to become a new creation?

By Pastor Timothy Gillespie

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