Saturday, March 3, 2007

More questions than answers

Despite my unsuccessful encounter with the Spiritual Director, I have continued to ponder scriptures through Lent. A member of my church mentioned that she sees our church like the wine skins. So, I had to take a look: (Luke 5:36-39)

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 wine skins. 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.'"

For the church, what is new wine, what are the wineskins, which are the old ones and what will be the new ones to hold the new wine? What is our container? What are the goods? And what do we do with the last verse: "And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for he says, 'The old is better'"?

You can't have old wine without first having new wine, right? So what is the "aging process" for the wine in the church? How long does it take for it to age/ Is sit good after only a year or two or do we have to wait 50 years? and is there a point when it turns to vinegar because we waited too long?

Similarly, without answers, I was reading Luke 13:1-9 and was left with the following questions:

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you tink that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you no! But unless you repent, you too will perish or those 18 who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Then he otld this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For 3 years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?' 'Sir', the man replied, 'Leave it alone for one or more year, and I'll dig around and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'"

So are we to understand these two together as one illuminating the other? If yes, if the vineyard illuminates "repent or perish" does our repentance serve as the fertilizing and watering of our lives (either physical, spiritual, or eternal)? So if we don't repent, we don't nurture ourselves toward life? Such that then we perish? If the analogy is not clearing debris or weeding, but feeding and watering--how does that change or enhance how we understand repentance? What if we understand repentance not as clearing away the junk as much as offering nutrience to our being? How does repenting nourish me? How does it offer me space to grow (i.e., "dug around it")?

1 comment:

David said...

Thanks for the post.I got new insight into the last sentence that you shared there. Good stuff. I had read a lot of the text, but heard the last part about the people asking for the old wine for the first time in your post. Thanks.