Today's Lectionary Text
Luke 5:36-38He told them this parable: “No one tears a piece out of a new garment to patch an old one. Otherwise, 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 wineskins.
Happy New Year! The new year is upon us all. We are venturing into the unchartered territories of the year. We are looking forward to renewed hopes and dreams. Many of us have made new year resolutions, changing from old to new habits. Christmas may have been the best time for some of us receiving and giving gifts and enlightening the faces of those around us. Above all, we celebrated the best gift of all, baby Jesus. Therefore, we are starting the new year in newness of the Christ child.
Our scripture reading cautions us to separate the old from the new. This is purposeful and vital. The word old denotes to outmoded things in life. For example, the year 2021 is now antiquated, so we cherish the gifts and experiences of the new year. We are hoping for the best this new year.
We learn something from the parable within our scripture. So, the lesson from both parables is simple: “Keep the new from the old, for in this way, both are preserved.” Because the new wine would continue to ferment, it would stretch the old wineskins and they would burst. Hence, the parable encourages us not to mix the old and new things in our faith journey.
In the garment example, both old and new garment would be ruined because the new patch would have been torn from and ruined the new garment and it would not match the old garment. So, Jesus used “new wine” and a new garment” to picture new ideas and new beginnings, and doctrines. It is a new era of God’s doing in our new year.
Jesus emphasizes the newness through God’s grace.. Jesus came to fulfill the law. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and life. This is a new teaching which replaced the old perceptions and teachings of his day. God’s grace relates to everyone. Therefore, separation of the old law to the period of grace remains vital.
Jesus’ point in clear within the parable: “Do not limit the new life that God brings you in Christ. It not supposed to be contained with the old religious classifications.” Good news is that Jesus brings something new. His touch down on earth this Christmas season transforms the old into great newness.
We celebrate this newness and enjoy the blessings and rejoice in its promises. Sticking to the old ways hinders our growth and development. The call of Christ is new, fresh, and encompassing. In this new year, may we begin each day with fresh eyes and new ears with expectation that the Lord will do something new in our lives We pray for that new thing expectantly and we will see it come to pass.
--Rev. Ever V. Mudambanuki
Nebraska City First UMC
Prayer for Reflection
O God teach us not to mix the old and new in our faith journey. Open our minds, hearts, eyes, and ears so that we can imagine exceptionally, believe more completely, see more fully, and hear more richly all that you have done, are doing, and will do this new year. Amen
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