He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Oth-erwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, new wine must be poured into new wine-skins.”
When we start something new, it is normal for us to sit down and take stock of our lives. God delights in doing new things with us and for us. Even in our twilight years, God is doing something new. Think of Abraham starting on a new journey in his seventies. It’s never too late for a new beginning with God!
During new beginnings, people review their priorities and activities. Some things suddenly don’t seem so important while other things become a priority. Some good things come out too. New beginnings also make us stop and think. During times of change, we are remind-ed that the only certainty in life is that life is uncertain. Changes and new beginnings pro-vide a time for reflection, a time to review our activities and priorities, and a time to set new goals.
Luke 5:36-38 does not say that the “new” is better or “old” is better. A new start is some-thing we should welcome. It’s an ideal opportunity to ask questions. For instance, are we doing things because they have always been done that way? Has a good thing come to an end? Sometimes we need to recognize when it is time for closure. Where is God leading us to? We should not rush into things, instead we should look to His guidance. We should not be doing things just for the sake of doing them.
Jesus did and said things in a new way, and it often upset people! His whole life is an ex-ample of a way of doing things that had never been done before. Yet He fulfilled God’s plans.
New things are unfamiliar. They offer challenges and we need to take risks. We often like the familiar because it is comfortable. It fits well like an “old pair of shoes.” My prayer for us is that, in this new beginning, God will stretch us like new wineskins. Maybe we can take a risk or two to do something we know God wants us to, but we have put them off because we like our comfortable routines. Often times, the God things will stretch us, will make us uncomfortable, and will challenge us.
We sometimes can resist the new. Barbara Johnson told how she bought new pillows, but halfway through the night, she was fishing the old ones from the rubbish bin, because she could not get to sleep on her nice new pillows. They were far too uncomfortable! Aren’t we the same sometimes? How we love our comfy old slippers and well-worn clothes, be-cause they are familiar! But God wants to change and challenge us.
Isaiah 43:18-19 says that God is a God who does new things. Our God is not stuck in a rut! The Scriptures tell us that He has a track record of new beginnings. If we desire to walk with God, we are never going to be on safe, comfortable territory. He delights in doing new things in us, through us, and for us. We need to wait, watch, and pray for the new things God wants to do with us, as individuals and as a church. After all, that is the Gospel: we are new creations in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17)
My prayer is that we won’t miss out on the new things God has for us. God is on the move, and He invites us to move with Him. Let us build on the firm foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ. His mercies are new every morning, and I invite you to get ready for the new things He wants to do in us, through us, and for us.