New Wineskins

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"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins." – Mark 2:22

Jesus was quite the authority on the subject of wine. Consider His first miracle and communion, not to mention the parables about vineyards and wineskins. Here we find Jesus discussing the virtues of new wineskins over old ones. He understood that new wine ferments rapidly, building up pressure inside the wineskin. This transforming process requires a vessel that is flexible and expandable. Yet, old wineskins have become rigid and inflexible, unable to sustain the pressure created by the new wine. Consequently, they burst. 

Peter quoted the prophet Joel after the Spirit came at Pentecost saying, “In the last days,' God says, 'I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17) This new wine of the Spirit is available to us today, as we pray for God to pour out His Spirit upon us. As we approach Pentecost, it’s a good time to ask yourself … what if He did? 

What if God were to pour out His Spirit afresh upon your life today? Would you expand … or burst? As I look at my daily and weekly routine, I confess that the demands of life can threaten to fill up every last bit of space until there’s no room left. God needs space to move. Then there are my thoughts and attitudes. Have I got it all figured out, or is there still room for God to enter in and change the way I think about myself, others and the world around me? Am I open to seeing God do new things and willing to adjust my lifestyle to enable Him to move more freely? Or would I burst under the pressure of God’s new wine?

God has been speaking to me this season through Isaiah 43:19, where the prophet declares, “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” I want to be positioned as a new wineskin that God can do something new and fresh through in the coming days. This isn’t always comfortable, but it certainly is exciting!

Jesus said that new wine calls for new wineskins. As we approach Pentecost in just a couple of weeks, why not pray, “Lord, make me into a new wineskin, flexible and able to receive what you desire to pour into my life, by your Spirit and for your Glory.” 

Our God Hears,
AJ Picard