Pot hole patching has become a topic of much discussion. Recent harsh winters have done their damage to the roads and created pot holes, which have become dangerous and in need of repair. The problem with patching in anything though is that usually a different material is used, which has different properties of expansion, stretch and wearability. Eventually, you can only patch up so many potholes, before the whole street needs resurfacing.
The same, Jesus says is true of lives. You can do so much patching up, but eventually you have to consider a new start:
People Ask about Going without Eating
18The followers of John the Baptist and the Pharisees often went without eating. Some people came and asked Jesus, “Why do the followers of John and those of the Pharisees often go without eating, while your disciples never do?”
The friends of a bridegroom don’t go without eating while he is still with them. 20But the time will come when he will be taken from them. Then they will go without eating.
21No one patches old clothes by sewing on a piece of new cloth. The new piece would shrink and tear a bigger hole.
22No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The wine would swell and burst the old skins. Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. New wine must be put into new wineskins.
The Pharisees are again watching Jesus. Everyone else is fasting (Tom explains why on p 18-19), but Jesus and his disciples are not. They have something to celebrate. The sadness of the past, the reason for the fast has gone, because God, in Jesus, is here and is making new what had gone wrong before.
But what gets me is the Pharisees constant fascination with what Jesus and his disciples are or aren’t doing. They are again MISSING THE POINT. They are so bothered about what Jesus is doing that they never really hear or understand what he is saying.
In concentrating on their concerns for the behaviour of other people, they are missing the opportunity to look at their own lives. To consider if they are new wine skins or old -whether they are ready to be filled with the new wine God is pouring out.
God is doing a new thing – are we ready to be part of it – or too busy judging whether others are?
Lent continues to give us the opportunity to look at ourselves and consider. Will we take it?
Forgive me Lord,
those times when I look around at what others are doing
and not into my own heart and life;
when I judge the actions of others
without thinking of my actions.
As we journey through Lent,
my I concentrate on myself
and my relationship with you,
that I may be ready
when you pour your new wine