Monday, April 2, 2012


"Do a personal check up from your neck up!!!!"

Mark 2:13-22 "THIS IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT!!!!! People STILL aren't getting IT!!!!" It appears to me that about all the churches that I watch and have been involved with are just shuffling the cards, but playing the same hand!!! Read Below:

How funny it would be for someone to take some unshrunk cotton and carefully to sew it just right on an old cloak. The first time it gets wet and shrinks -- rip.

Or and old, inflexible, leathery wine flask. Put some wine in there that is still alive, still active and fermenting. Eventually... splash. It will burst like slapstick.

The point is a powerful one. It's like Einstein's quote (if I remember correctly) -- you can't solve a problem with the same consciousness that created it.

Mark sets Jesus' teaching-routine within a context that might have been comedic. Jesus has been befriending sinners and tax collectors. These are the people who deliberately choose not to observe the Torah. Jesus eats and drinks with them. They are soaking him in, breathing and expanding like new wine flasks filled with living new wine.

But the old ways are bothered. The Pharisees have been trying to teach the Torah observances to the people, helping them extend their faithfulness to the scripture into every part of their ordinary lives. There is a system. It is clear and written down. There is a process for interpreting difficult decisions. They know what is right and what is required to be righteous.

These sinners and tax collectors don't follow the right way. They should be straightened out, not partied with.

Yet, the old wine didn't work for these sinners and tax-collectors. The well-worn cloth didn't fit. But something about Jesus' new wine sparkled in their mouths. Their hearts opened to what Jesus was saying. They felt joy and newly born hope. God could be with them. They could experience love and acceptance. And from that motivation of love, they could live in a new way.

Where the law had been unsuccessful, love awakened new life.

All would be well if only the Pharisees could have seen the grace in the sinners' response. "It's not our way," they might observe, "but look what good it is doing for them." But their thoughts and hearts were a bit dry and leathery. They were too comfortable in their old clothes. This unshrunk cloth pulled and tore at their fabric. Sometimes that's the way it is.

How many Church members does it take to change a light bulb?

Five. One to change the bulb and four to talk about how good that old bulb was.

CHANGE THAT LIGHT BULB??!! My grandmother gave the church that light bulb!

Posted by Lowell Grisham on July 13, 2011 6:45 AM

1 comment:

Cochise said...

Pouring the Life of the Spirit into Your Life

Having put Jesus' teaching in perspective, however, we must pause to grapple personally with the power of his words: "And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, 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" (5:37-38).

What are the structures of our own age and culture that cannot coexist with the new wine of the Spirit. What have we tried to sew Christianity onto that will cause a greater tear and undermine the faith itself. In Jesus' day it was the legalistic spirit of Pharaiseism. What is it in your own life? What is it in your work, your community, your school, your environment?

"New wine must be poured into new wineskins," not accommodated to those comfortable things in our lives with which it is basically incompatible. The message for disciples is to be uncompromising about our faith and the work of the Spirit in our lives. If our honored customs and habits, and the structures of our society must adjust to that, then so be it.


Lord, fill us full again with your New Wine. This time help us to contain it and grow with it, rather than lose it through out stubbornness and inflexibility. Help me, Lord, to recognize the powerful new ways you want to work in my own life and not miss it. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.