Luke 5:36-39 (CEV)
36 Jesus then told them these sayings:
No one uses a new piece of cloth to patch old clothes. The patch would shrink and make the hole even bigger.
37 No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new wine would swell and burst the old skins. Then the wine would be lost, and the skins would be ruined. 38 New wine must be put only into new wineskins.
39 No one wants new wine after drinking old wine. They say, “The old wine is better.”
There are some places where you can ease yourself into the water. Your bathtub, the swimming pool or hot tub – even lots of beaches are like this.
But there are other places, like these amazing rocks in Algonquin, where there’s no option of just dipping your toe in the water.
With a situation like this you have to decide if you’re going to stay on the land, or if you’re going to jump in.
If you tried to hang on to the cliff and get in the water, it wouldn’t work. In fact, not only would it not work, but you’d end up in a pretty difficult situation. The whole thing might, in fact, end very, very badly for you, as you slid unstoppably down the side of the cliff, cutting and grazing yourself the whole way down.
No, if you’re going to enter this kind of water, you definitely need to just take a big leap off the edge and jump straight into the water.
This might be what this passage is talking about. Jesus has shown up and he has all of these new ideas. Some of them are exciting and cool (like people being healed) and some of them are harder to cope with (like people being forgiven). There seems to be an idea floating around that maybe people could just pick the ideas from Jesus that they like the best and leave the rest behind; that they could just dip their toe in the water, while hanging on to all the stability and certainty of the rock.
And Jesus is saying, “that’s not going to work, folks.” Those old ideas are just that – they’re old ideas, old frameworks for interpreting the world. They are what they are, they haven’t really changed in hundreds of years, they’ve gotten you as far as they’re going to get you. You might like them. You might be comfortable with them. They might make you feel safe and secure, but they won’t take you anywhere new.
If you want to go somewhere new, it turns out, you’ll have to take some risks. If you want to go somewhere new, you’ll have to put on your swimsuit and life jacket and take a leap off the rocks. If you do you’ll end up in the water, and the water is living and the water is active and the water is powerful and the water can take you places you’ve never, ever been before.
But you’re going to have to choose which it’s going to be, because you can’t be both on the rock and in the water at the same time.Journal Questions:
- What are some of your ‘rocks’ – your old ideas that you’d like to hold on to; the things that make you feel safe?
- What does the ‘water’ look like – the new ideas that Jesus is introducing you to at the moment, that seem to have the capacity to take you places you’ve never been before?
- Are you a ‘dipper’ or a ‘jumper’ by preference?
- Since you can’t choose both, how will you decide whether to jump off the rock or not?