You are here: Blogs Rev. Phil's Blog
“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:22 (NIV)
On Wednesday, March 9th, we’ll officially begin the holy season of Lent with our Ash Wednesday observances. We’ll join with the faithful around the globe in preparing our hearts and lives for the joyous celebration of new life at Easter. To fully experience the joy of Easter there are some things we intend to do (sort of like some are doing in their gardens now) to prepare ourselves for receiving all God has for us, not only at Easter, but also throughout this Lenten season as well.
In the passage above, from the Gospel of Mark, we have a response Jesus offers to those who were asking him why his disciples were not fasting like John’s disciples were (see Mark 2:18-22). Basically, Jesus says “a new thing is happening with my arrival and through my presence, and it appears you’re not ready for this new thing because you’re so stuck on the old things.” (Note: this is an EXTREMELY rough paraphrase!) What an amazing image he offers … wine in wineskins.
Wineskins?! Here’s what’s meant here (thanks to www.JesusWalk.com):
“All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.” Ecclesiastes 3:20 (NIV)
“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7 (NIV)
Welcome to Ash Wednesday 2011, the first day of Lent 2011! Are you ready for this amazing journey with Jesus that’s beginning today? I pray that you are.
What exactly is the importance of having the ashes smeared on our foreheads in the middle of the week? Well, I believe the scriptures above give us some clues as to what this ritual can mean.
Good morning. I’ve received a call and a text about the fact there is not a devotional posted for today. I’m sure we could have handled this differently by having something to post that would usher us from the Lenten season into this Holy Week and on to Easter. And yet, there is something quite appropriate about how this has played out....
Happy Easter ya’ll! Yes, it’s two days after Easter Sunday, yet that doesn’t mean anything. For those of us walking by faith in God’s love for us in Christ Easter is an everyday, everywhere, anytime, any place experience and expression. So again, Happy Easter ya’ll!
I had a really strange sensation Easter Sunday afternoon. As I was sitting at lunch with some folks from church I realized Easter was actually here and things didn’t seem much different from the way they’d been the day, or the week, or the month before. I was actually kind of stunned. After all the “fasting” I had done, and writing, and reflecting, and praying, and worshiping I thought things seemed quite anticlimactic. I had to sit with myself a moment or two to come to the realization that all that I had done, or not done, over the past seven weeks of the Lenten journey was not in vain, that what I had experienced during this holy season (all of it) was the actual blessing. Thank You God!
Something happened to that group of cowards who ran off when Jesus was arrested, tried, and then executed on a Roman cross. Fear, betrayal, shame, doubt, guilt were not the last we would hear of Jesus’ closest companions. No, this was only a chapter in their stories. Over the next few weeks, the lectionary readings invite us to view the movement of faith in the lives of the disciples, a movement from running and hiding, to running and proclaiming. We’ll see how they claimed their faith in the risen Lord and how they boldly shared this faith through words and in deeds. Over the next few weeks, as we explore their faith journeys, we’ll seek to do the same in our daily living and in our weekly worship.
Please join us this Sunday at 10:00.