OYB Feb 17th

OYB: February 17th Readings

The one I focused on today was Mark 2:21-22, which speak of not putting new cloth onto a tear in an old garment, and not putting new wine into old wineskins. I'm familiar with these passage, of course. I've always seen it as a rejection of the "old" (the pharasees, etc) in favor of the new. Today, though, I had this gut feeling that I was missing something. These two verses seemed so out of place.

It was then that I realized I was looking at this the wrong way. Jesus wasn't rejecting the old. Rather, he was saying that the new needs to be prepared before being integrated with the old. The cloth needs to be shrunk, the wine needs to age. The old had it's problems (a tear in the cloth, the wineskins empty) but that didn't mean they should be discarded.

With that in mind, I read the passage leading up to this. Jesus was being criticized because his disciples didn't fast. To which he responded:

19 ... "The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day." (NRSV)

The disciples, carrying Jesus message (the Good News) were the "new" being prepared for the day when Jesus would no longer be with them physically, and they would "go back" into the world, healing the hurts of the world. They were the new cloth, the new wine, being made ready, not to end the old, but to make it complete and whole.

I've been feeling torn recently. I attend both a "traditional" church, and one which sees itself as a part of the "Emerging church" movement. I'm not really "at home" with either. Maybe I'm being called to act in some way as a bridge between those two.