Fresh wineskins for the new wine
“And who would pour fresh, new wine into an old wineskin? Eventually the wine will ferment and make the wineskin burst, losing everything—the wine will be spilled and the wineskin ruined. Instead, new wine is always poured into new wineskins.” Jesus in Mark 2:22-24
I live in South Africa’s best wine-growing and making region. Stellenbosch is home to the world’s best Chardonnay, and some pretty good Serah’s, Cabernet Savignon and many other fine wines. As I look out of my dining room window, I watch the vines growing at my neighbour’s vineyard. Fresh leaves at springtime, ripe grapes later that summer, harvest time and then pruning – a living metaphor permeates my world.
New wine for a new season
Did you know that Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine? And not just any wine, mind you, the very best! I sometimes wonder why that would be His first miracle? In my limited understanding, Jesus loves a good celebration, and a wedding feast is an exquisite reminder of love.
Love is the reason He came.
But, getting back to vines and grapes. We read further on in John about us abiding in the vine. We see that fruit, pruning and growth are all part of the process. We learn that when we abide; we are plugged into the source, and our lives bear fruit from that reality.
It’s all about connection, dependance and rest. Fruitfulness is not something we struggle to eke out. It should be a natural product of the right growing conditions, pruning, water and care. Therefore, if I look at the coming year with all the potential in it, I would do well to put away the ‘old wineskins’ and allow new wine to be poured into new wineskins.
Can you connect to the source?
How can you depend more on Jesus this year?
What does living from rest look like for you?
If you like to embrace life, wholly free from fear and live with intention and purpose then here are a few suggestions to stop and then start:
Stop enjoying the old wine. It’s time for a change. I know that it is sometimes more comfortable to remain in the past or what we know.
Secondly, stop looking back and longing for what was. It is time to accept where you are now and take it from here. We can’t keep looking back because if we do, we will miss the gift’s right in front of us. Did you know those old wineskins get stretched to the limit or sometimes become brittle as wine had fermented inside them; using them again, therefore, risked bursting them. We don’t want to be stretched to the limit, burn out or become brittle. It’s far better to be pliable, able to grow and be filled with new wine.
And finally, start being full here, right now. What small changes can you make today? How can you pursue meaningful relationships, joy, hope, peace and purpose?
Please join me on this journey of growth for 2020. Will you accept the invitation to let go of 2019 or the past decade? Prepare ‘fresh wineskins’ for the new wine and live with intention.