Daily Easter Devotion Saturday, April 20th

Saturday, April 20, 2013 – Psalm 23; Daniel 6:16-28; 3 John 1-15 and Luke 5:27-39

Luke 5:27-39 – 36He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’”

This parable of Jesus has always intrigued me. Jesus is speaking to the Scribes and Pharisees, for it is them that have questioned him. They have asked him a couple of questions; why he eats with tax collectors and sinners and why his disciples do not fast and pray like them and John’s disciples. Jesus answers both of their questions, probably not to their satisfaction. Then he tells them this parable. So is he saying the old is the Scribes and Pharisees and their ways? Is the new then his disciples; fishermen, tax collectors and others? Is the new what Jesus is ushering in with his teachings and his even dying and rising to new life? How then do we hear his last statement; “the old is good”?

I believe the new is Jesus’ ways and his teachings. The Scribes and Pharisees couldn’t accept Jesus or his teachings for they went counter to their ways and their rolls as the authority in their day.

I then ask myself, what is Jesus saying to me who serves a congregation that is a part of a denomination that once was known as “mainline”? There is a lot going on in Christendom that is new – new music, new ways of worshipping, new styles of leadership of the church even. Some of this is of God and I imagine some is not. But the part that is, how do I apply it to a congregation and pastor (me) that is set in our ways?

First off, even from Jesus’ parable come words of hope. “And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’” Friends, even Jesus says, the old is good.

I believe the new that is being put into new wineskins has a lot to offer the church. Yet, there is a place for what is called traditional.

Where I come down on all of this is that we need to sift through the new of today, seeking to find what is of God. At one time what today is called traditional was new (1500’s).

As a pastor of a congregation of a “mainline” denomination, I’ll continue to seek to serve God by doing things we have always done; worship and serve God who calls us in for worship and sends us out for service. I’ll seek to help us do these things with long learned expertise. Yet, I’ll also keep my heart, mind and soul tuned into what new things God is doing, celebrating how these new things can impact us and hopefully raise up new worshipping communities even in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

I’d enjoy hearing from you, how you hear this parable of Jesus and how you apply it to your life? Drop me a note.

O God, you are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning of all things and the end of all things (at least as we know and experience things today), may I put my full faith and hope in you who blesses the old and blesses the new. Help all parts of Your Body worship, serve and glorify you. Amen.

Here’s something we can all hold onto as we go about our days.

Psalm 23 – 1   The LORD is my shepherd,

(something to always remember.)

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