Just a Thought or Two

New Wineskins

Author: Mark Fenstermacher
July 30, 2021

People who didn’t like change often had a problem with Jesus. Jesus always seemed to be doing things a little differently if doing things differently helped him reach people with the love and truth of God.

In the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Luke, Jesus sees a tax collector named Levi sitting at his tax booth, minding his own business, helping raise funds for the empire, and Jesus says, “Follow me.”

In a move that must have shocked the people nearby, Levi stood up, closed his books, left everything and followed Jesus.

Then, a party broke out. Levi held a party for Jesus at his house, and the tax collector invited a whole crowd of people. It must have been an interesting cross section of humanity because the local ministerial association was outraged. “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” the religious leaders asked Jesus.

Jesus then explained that a new day and new people required some new ways of doing things. He points out that you don’t put new wine in old wineskins because when the wine expands the skins will burst. “No, new wine must be poured into new wineskins.” Then, if you know the story, Jesus adds, “And none of you, after drinking old wine, wants the new, for you say, ‘The old is better.’”

To put it another way, new days call for new ways. Even so, there are reasons to hold onto tried and true truth.

We’re about to try out some new wineskins. These changes aren’t really very radical. The first worship service will shift from 8:30 to 8:45. Sunday school will move to 10-10:40. The second service will begin at 10:45 and it will happen in the Fellowship Hall (which was designed and equipped for exactly this kind of service/music).

Why these changes?

  • We’re starting a little later to make the service more attractive to people who find the earlier start a challenge. 
  • We’re shortening our Sunday school time to make it more possible for us to build stronger teaching teams so children can thrive spiritually in creative, age-appropriate group experiences. 
  • We are committed to providing the best worship experience we can, and right now we believe we have the resources to offer two excellent, Christ-centered worship celebrations but not three.
  • Finally, the start of the contemporary service means people will get home just a little earlier than in the past. So they can have more family time/family Sabbath.

So we’ll try some new wineskins but the truth we will proclaim, the love and truth we will share with the world, will continue to be the unchanging truth that God loves the world so much that God gave the world God’s only begotten Son! Our love for Christ and our commitment to welcome all people into our community won’t change a bit.

The new schedule begins September 12. Will you pray about how God might use you to help this new beginning be a great beginning? There is a place for you in one of our teams (hospitality, music/worship/tech, Sunday School for children, youth or adults, small groups, etc.).

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  • Invite a friend to join you in worship (either on-line or in-person) at 8:30 or 11 as we continue our journey through the psalms in our series Soul Songs.
  • The Administrative Council meets next Monday evening, August 9, at 6:30 p.m.
  • Please encourage your friends to get the COVID-19 vaccination. Rising numbers of infections, and the threat to children, may mean we’ll soon need to wear masks indoors. Younger, unvaccinated persons are being hospitalized in record numbers. Express your love for yourself and others by receiving the amazing gift of the vaccine!

It is a joy to share the road with you.

Grace,
Pastor Mark


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First United Methodist Church
1203 E. Seventh Street | Auburn, IN 46706
office@auburnumc.church | 260.925.0885





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