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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, October 5, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Luke 5:27–39

After this he went out and saw a tax-collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up, left everything, and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax-collectors and others sitting at the table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax-collectors and sinners?” Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

Then they said to him, “John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink.” Jesus said to them, “You cannot make wedding-guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? The days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and sews it on an old garment; otherwise the new will be torn, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, ‘The old is good.’” (NRSV)

Reflection
Out with the old and in with the new—this is what comes to mind when I read today’s passage.

Wineskins were made of goat skins sewn together to form a watertight bag that would become rigid over time. New wine expanded as it aged and needed to be stored in a new, more pliable wineskin to prevent the container from bursting.

The Pharisees were rigid, much like old wineskins. They were rejecting Jesus’ teachings, which did not fit within their rules and traditions. Jesus was laying the foundation for Christianity, which required different approaches and new traditions. The Pharisees were stuck in a rut and not willing to change. We, too, can get stuck in spiritual ruts at times. We may get upset over a change or addition to our church services. Sometimes we spend an hour in worship with God on a Sunday morning and forget about worshiping the rest of the week. We say the same prayer at dinner time that we have for years and years.

Jesus doesn’t want us to get stuck in a rut in our faith and simply go through the motions with God. There are seasons when I end up in monotonous routines with my faith—I think we all do at times. What are some new ways that we can think about worshiping God throughout the week? What are some new ways that we can show God’s love to others as we go about our daily lives?

Prayer
Loving God, thank you for your presence and love, even when I am in a spiritual rut. Help me be open to new ways of worship as I go through my daily life. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator


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