God among the sinners
Matthew 9: 10-17 (NIV)
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
The Spirit of creativity in us tends to give rise to lots of new ideas and new wine! But how does this work in our established Church? I get continuity. And I get that Jesus was a Jew born into a faith already long in the tooth! But how do we mix creativity and spirit and the fresh outpouring of grace into the age old wineskins of the established church and orthodoxy? What are these new wineskins you speak of Jesus? Where do we buy them? Where do we get hold of them? Are we to make them ourselves? Or do we carry on with what the Spirit calls us to do and trust that you will raise up new wineskin-makers for us?
Lord, I worry about the bigger picture. But perhaps I should leave that to you and just get on with what the Spirit of creativity, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Jesus, tells me to do this day.