The last 18 months in Christchurch has reminded us all how inflexible the modern ‘wineskin’ is, probably far more effective in a bar fight than the Jewish, animal skin equivalent, but definitely inflexible. CCTV footage of wine isles turning into a sea of red glistening glass has been a favourite fodder of our media.
Although the question posed to Jesus in these scriptures is about fasting, His response is far bigger. His response challenges our very character – how flexible are we? Those challenging Jesus with these questions had dedicated lives to becoming inflexible, religious. Have I done the same? Or, could I possibly be the opposite – tolerant, changing, growing, open, accepting, progressive, alive ...flexible.
As we long for Jesus to do new things in us and through us, to pour out His new wine, let’s strive to remain soft and flexible.
When our radical Saviour stretches our hearts, challenges our thinking, questions our motivations what will happen? I guess there is the risk that maybe we have become so religious that the worst thing possible could happen...nothing. But if we can remain flexible then the most beautiful thing could happen...we become more like Christ.
When Jesus comes back and wanders down the wine isle will He have to wade through a sea of red glistening glass? Or, will there be plenty of fine vintage wine, fit for one serious party!