The following post titled 'New Wine | New Wineskins' is based on our Meaning of Life series across C3 Sydney's 11 Locations
No one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, 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. And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
Luke 5:37-39 (NIV)
The church is never standing still
We are always adjusting and making renovations, seeking new oil and fresh fire from God in His house. I believe God is about to do a new thing at C3 and when we move into new things, it is important to talk about what that involves so that we don’t leave people behind.
We all get familiar with the old
Every time C3 has moved into a bigger space, people have compared it to the previous, to the familiar and made an instant judgement about the new (how it differs). Jesus in this passage is referring to the Pharisees. They were asking Jesus why He wasn’t like John the Baptist. John the Baptist was severe on the Pharisees -calling them snakes and vipers- but they were used to him. It had only been about 18 months when Jesus came on the scene and John’s ministry started to fade into the background but the Pharisees had already forgotten how suspicious they had been of John.
Religion gets stuck
You may have heard the old joke “How many Christians does it take to change a lightbulb?” …”Change?”. It took 100 years for people to accept the song “Jesus loves me” because it was a different style to what they had before. How can we be like lions if we move like snails? God wants us to be swift, like on a horse. He wants new songs, new structures, new systems, new locations, new voices. Don’t get paralysed or stuck in the mud, because our future is bigger and brighter than anything in our past.
God is always moving
Our God has always been moving -just look at the opening chapter of Genesis when the Spirit of God moved over the dark waters. Our world today is very similar, full of chaos and confusion but if we align ourselves with the Holy Spirit (who is still moving) we can impact this generation for God. God is seeking people with hearts open to Him.
Making new wineskins
Ps Phil gave an example about how we spoke to a psychologist on a plane journey who asked how he came to be a pastor. He told her that he met Jesus and how his life changed: his language, his behaviour, his friends and the conversations he was having. The psychologist gave an explanation for the change based on human effort. But Ps Phil was quick to respond that it was no effort he made that change him but the supernatural power of God. God moves when we move: have you noticed that whenever Jesus healed people He told them to start moving? “Arise and walk” or “stretch out your hand”.
Ps Phil explained how at each stage of life it is important to structure our lives differently so that the ‘new wine’ we receive goes into ‘new wineskins’. If a new thing goes into old habits, it bursts and you lose them both. Be elastic, be flexible be open to God. Then you can be filled with the Holy Spirit and find your purpose in life. Many people don’t know what their calling is but you find it by moving and serving. The door to your destiny is lower than we think and so we must humble ourselves and move with God to find it.
Something to talk about:
- Is there an area of your life where you find it particularly difficult to change?
- What are some ways you can rearrange your life to make room for new wine?
- How does it encourage you to know that the Holy Spirit enables and empowers us to change?