2nd February 2024

It was my birthday yesterday – don’t ask! 

In the gospels we read two parables about patching clothes and storing wine:

No one sews a patch of unprocessed cloth on old clothing. If they do, the cloth that fills the hole pulls away from it – the new from the old – and the tear gets worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the wine bursts the wineskins and the wine is ruined, as well as the wineskins. (Mark 2, 21-22)

Some commentators seem to struggle to explain what he meant by these parables. So do I! However, I do feel sure that they don’t mean we should not accept new things as we get older. Not “I am now an old wineskin, so don’t try pouring new wine into me!” It’s often tempting to say that “it was never like that in my day” to excuse not going along with some new idea or way of doing things.

In so many aspects of our everyday lives we come to terms with – and often welcome – new things. After all I am writing this on a computer, a device which was unheard of when I was much younger.

I think what I am trying to say is that we should not simply dismiss new ideas, new interpretations of the gospel, new insights simply because they are new. As the hymn writer (George Rawson) put it:

The Lord has yet more light and truth

To break forth from his word.

Thank God for continuing revelation of his will and for the ability prayerfully to seek for his guidance.

David T Roberts