He told them this parable: “No one tears a patch from a new garment and sews it on an old one. If he does, he will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, 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 he says, ‘The old is better.'” Luke 5:36-39 (NIV)
What are some things that don’t go together? I’m not sure what you mean. What does not match? What doesn’t fit together? You mean things like a square peg in a round hole? Yes, now you have the idea. Let’s hear a few more. How about black shoes and a brown belt or a fool in leadership? Those are good. They say you can’t compare apples and oranges, I’m not sure why though. Plaids and stripes don’t go together. How about shouting in the library or laughing loudly at a funeral, those don’t fit the situation. You’ve given some good examples, how about a couple more? Cats and dogs are not a good combination. I’ve always liked oxymorons like jumbo shrimp, flight food, or military intelligence. Let’s stay away from sarcasm. Alright, how about one more? That would be good. Light and darkness can’t exist together. That’s the ultimate miss match. Yes, it is.
Why do you think I’ve asked you to consider what doesn’t go together? I’m not exactly sure. Take a stab at it. Well, I know that my old life in the world doesn’t match or go together with my new life in you. Why not? It’s kind of like light and darkness don’t go or can’t exist together. Tell me more about that.
When I started following you, I had to be willing to leave my old life behind. That wasn’t easy at the time. There were things from my old life that I thought I liked. I would’ve said they tasted good to me. If it were possible and if I had thought of it, I might’ve asked you to just make some minor adjustments to my life. You mean something like putting a few patches on the holes in your life? Yes, that’s it. How do you think that would’ve worked? Not at all. Fortunately I reached a point of desperation. I really saw the darkness of my life and how much in need I was. What were you willing to do? I was willing to turn completely away from my old life to begin to live the new life that you wanted to give to me. What did I do for you? You forgave and cleansed me of all my sins. Before I felt dirty and unacceptable. You made me clean as you showered me with your mercy, love and forgiveness. Yes, I did.
You used an expression that I want to ask you about. What’s that? You said you “turned completely” away from your old life. Yes, I did. Can you say more about that? I’d be happy to. When I began to follow you, I thought that I had confessed all my sins and turned completely away from my old life. That was my intent. But as I follow you, every so often, I see things that don’t fit or match the new life that you have given me to live. Like what? I’ll give you two examples. How about anger and love or lust and purity, those combinations don’t fit the new life I have in you. No they don’t. So, when you show mismatches like that to me I once again have an opportunity to leave them behind and follow you. In this way you are making my life new, again and again, bit-by-bit, and day-by-day. Yes, I am. I’m sure you will continue to change me and remove mismatches from my life until the day we meet together in heaven. Yes, I will.
Lord, you are my Savior. Thank you for the new life that you have given to me to live as I follow you. You have changed my heart and mind, tastes and desires. The old is gone. The new is here. I’m excited to live my new life in you. Amen
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