Psalms 102 * 107:1-32; Jeremiah 31:27-34; Ephesians 5:1-20; Matthew 9:9-17
We're in mid-spring, and in DC things are just beyond full bloom. All the trees are fully in leaf and green and lush, with canopies of shade providing relief from the sun. Some trees are so full as to be like umbrellas protecting the one walking underneath (somewhat) from torrential rain - like what is pouring down from the sky this morning. And there is an analogy there to the new wine not being put into old wine skins, but into new wine skins; and the unshrunk cloth not being put on and old cloak, both of which we hear in our Gospel reading today. Just as we are reminded of our mortality every autumn when the leaves die and fall from the trees, we are likewise reminded of new birth with the coming of spring, and the spring rains: that we have been gifted new life in Jesus, a new wine in a new wine skin. We get to try again when we fall down, we get to put a weathered patch on our beaten cloak, mending the tear and moving on: perhaps a bit scarred but still fit for use. And when that cloak, that is our life does wear out, we have been promised a new cloak, a new life when this one ends, a better one which will not tear or wear out. But if we are reading this, we aren't there yet and must make the best of our new wine and our old cloak. With the knowledge of better yet to come, troubling things are not so overwhelming.
Copyright 2008, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.