Journal Matt 9 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment and a worse tear is made.
Neither is new wine put into old wineskins: if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins and both are preserved.” Matt 9:16-17
Observation: New wine into old or new wineskins: a metaphor for the move of the Spirit of God?
Analysis: This caught my eye today, only because when I was a young man in Christ, this metaphor was among the popular buzz phrases of the day.
Now, later in my years, it still rings in me—a bit muted perhaps, but the ring is still there.
I would like to think that the “ring” is now not a clamor of many bells, but of a desire to see a symphony now where perhaps chaotic and undisciplined musicians were back then.
The main idea of the metaphor was that new enthusiasm in Jesus couldn’t fit in old institutions. Therefore, new “institutions” were needed. A corollary was that old institutions would stifle fresh enthusiasm by trying to “fit” them into traditional modes of expressions (thought of as mostly dull and without enthusiasm).
50 years later and there are worship bands, lifting of hands/expression worship, casual clothing, small groups, etc.—much of this a result of the Jesus Movements of the 60 and 70’s. New wine—and nobody lifts an eyebrow about it.
Do I still have “new wine” feelings and convictions, coursing through my veins? Or is the wine in me old and stale, satisfied just to be a part of the wine rack, collecting dust and cobwebs?
I remember this story: “As (Jesus) was drawing near (to Jerusalem), the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they have seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” (Jesus) answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” (Luke 19:37-40)
Where is my heart today? Am I overflowing with streams of everlasting water? Do I have fervor for the King of all creation? Am I being the example of a disciple that I want to be?
Prayer: Father, where is the intense fellow I was way back when? Does my intensity stop at this Journal? I must ask myself—I cannot stop asking because I felt like I “made it.” Where is my “situational awareness” in the Spirit? Where is it? I want it back; I want it kindled in my heart again.
Cause revival, O Lord. AMEN