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What New Thing, Lord?

I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a nation producing the fruits of it
Matthew 21:33-43

Sermon Topic New Life

Sermon Week Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 21:43


Do you remember how Jesus used the imagery of "old wine in new wineskins" to emphasize that God's creation is in the process of development; that we can learn from the past but cannot live in the past; that the world we leave will not be the same as the world we came into? Perhaps you have never seen a wineskin. We keep wine in bottles today. But in Jesus' time wine-containers were made from animal skin. The escaping gases from a new wine, still fermenting, will cause it to expand. When you pour new wine into an old, brittle wineskin, the expansion will cause it to break and the wine will be lost. Like new wine, God's gift of New Life in Jesus Christ needs flexible vessels in which to develop and ferment and expand.

A married couple had just returned home from a wedding anniversary celebration and the wife was feeling very nostalgic. "You used to kiss me tenderly," she said. So he leaned over and tenderly kissed her. "You used to hold my hand," she said. So he reached over and took her hand in his. "You used to gently bite my ear lobe," she said. Immediately he got up and began walking out of the room. "Where are you going?" she asked impatiently. "To get my teeth," he replied.

Off with the old; on with the new. We can cherish past events, but we cannot relive them. We can revere our traditions, but we cannot freeze them. We cannot wrap up life in a neat package and say, "This is the way it always was, this is the way it is, and this is the way it always will be."

In Mark's Gospel we are told of the time when Jesus returned home to Nazareth and began to teach in the synagogue. Many of His old neighbors reacted as so many old wineskins. They were amazed by His teaching, Mark tells us. They were impressed by His wisdom, Mark tells us. They were astonished at His miracles, Mark tells us. But they remained inflexible insofar as [...]

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