“therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away” 2 Corinthians 5:17, KJV
During the wedding at Cana, Jesus said that to never put new wine in old wine skins. We are the new wine skins. If we are stiff, as in an old wines kin, we cannot expand to new ideas; we cannot accept change. Cynthia Bourgeault writes about our union of lives allowing us to walk on God’s path. This, above all other desires, requires that we be as pliable as new wine skins; we must be able to expand our ideas, thoughts, and practices to accept all others as God’s children.
By being new and accepting, we are the new children of God who accept the transforming power of God’s love, by welcoming all in His name. It is only love that gives us the real image of God, and that image is in the face of the other. God is not some unknown divine being, God is visible only in the faces of others. We all picture the image of God to be that of Jesus Christ, but in reality, look at our neighbors and see the face of God as it truly is.
Our God of Love calls us to act for our brothers and sisters and reconcile with them in the spirit of God’s holy love. We are to renew ourselves to accept this self-replenishing life, becoming the new wineskins that Jesus praised. We are the wineskins; our treatment of others is the new wine that fulfills the Love of God within us and within the world. We cannot accept the love of others or the love of God without being the same as the very pliable new wine skins.
The outward showing of love for humanity fulfills the holiness, the kingdom of God within us, of our souls and hearts. We trust our own reverence within the holy embrace of God’s Grace, without which our futures are dim indeed. Our perfect example is Jesus. We try to follow him as we accept new ideas and new people into our lives.