Great Plains Daily Devotional for 11/16/2022: Luke 5:37-38

Today please be in prayer for

Auburn, NE First UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue Aldersgate UMC
Omaha Lefler Memorial UMC
Missouri River District
Bellevue St James UMC East
Bellevue St James UMC West
Missouri River District

Today's Lectionary Text

Luke 5:37-38 

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins, otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”

Today's Devotional

Some days my 71-year-old body feels like an old wineskin! More importantly some days our political, governmental, economic, educational and religious institutions seem to me like old wineskins. Our culture is filled with the old hanging on, while the new is trying to emerge. And for some it’s easier to devote to one’s own comfortable status quo than take risks into freshness, newness, the unknown and change. Including, dare I say, in our own United Methodist Church institution. 

But then here comes Jesus -- in his words spoken 2,000 years ago and now, telling us “new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.” The new wine of the Spirit, the newness being created even now by the movement of the Spirit requires fresh wineskins. Even newness in ways of being a disciple of Jesus. Fresh expressions! I wonder and believe that the “new wineskin” is our collective and individual heart, mind and spirit. And right now, for me that requires having some garage sale of some of my old ideas and beliefs that in truth is my old wineskin that has grown stale. It also means I am seeking to observe some practices, attitudes and learnings that create spiritual flexibility and openness to newness. 

Isn’t it true that the life of the institutional Christian church of any flavor (and any religion really) has an ebb and flow and ebb and flow. And now more than ever we may be required to look beyond our old wineskin UMC institution to the fresh movement of the Spirit just waiting for us. Waiting for us to catch up with containers that can be open and flexible to a movement! A movement, not simply an institution, that is even now all around us! And I’m trying to pay attention to that reality. And isn’t it true that the next to last chapter of our Bibles record the Universal Christ on the throne saying, “Behold I make all things new.” What a promised reality! 
-- Rev. Rick Saylor, retired clergy 
Kansas City, Missouri

Prayer for Reflection

O Spirit, your power, presence and movement is with us now and into our futures. Give us the courage to let go of old wineskins. And give us courage and confidence to let You create newness in how we hold what You are doing in us, in the church and in the world! 

And so it is?!! 


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