“No one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.”
In the first century, wine was fermented in the skin of goats. Unfermented grape juices were put into bags that had been sewn from goat skin tanned over acacia wood fires. The skin was flexible, and as fermentation occurred, it would stretch. When the process was complete, the wineskins were dried and became inflexible, useful only to carry water.
From the start of his ministry, at Cana in Galilee where Jesus catered the wedding reception, turning water into wine, there was something new and stretching about his teaching and his actions. He came to fulfill the promises and the hopes of Israel, but also to stretch them. The new wine of his presence and spirit will also stretch us! Are we like flexible new wineskins or dried out stiff ones?
Sovereign Lord, Show us where we need to stretch and grow. Increase our flexibility to your Spirit and our excitement to see you do new things in our lives and our communities. Help us embrace the ferment that comes when you are active in and around us. Amen.