Even if the old is worse, the old is familiar, maybe even comfortable
In matters of faith, maybe even harder...
Jesus was asked why He and His disciples did not "look" like the others that had come before, why their practice or "forms" had changed. He used it as an opportunity to communicate that in Him, the New had come...
#1: The Wedding Party - A celebration is not a time for fasting; also linked up to His references to the bridegroom coming to take the bride away...
#2: Patching Old Clothing - New material has yet to shrink in the wash, so patch made of it would pull away and rip an old cloth when washed. Purely about form it seems, and an image for those who thought Jesus had come to put a new "shine" on the old ways.
#3: Wine and Wineskins - New, still fermenting, wine needs a container that can be stretched... it needs a new flexible wineskin. This was about the change in form needed by the change in the covenant.
Wine in the New Testament (literally, "New Covenant")
Wine is Jesus' "blood of the new covenant" in communion
Wine was featured in Jesus' first miracle, the wedding at Cana (wedding imagery again)
Acts 2:13 " But others mocked them and said, "They are drunk on new wine!"" Luke (who wrote Acts) includes this intentionally, linking the Spirit back to Jesus' new wine parable...
What does this have to do with us?
We shouldn't expect that ANYTHING is included in the New Testament simply as a record of what Jesus taught others, with no claims upon us!
#1: We are still in love with old forms...
We don't like change, even when that change is necessary!
In every age's and every place's receiving of the Gospel (the New Wine), the forms have changed, though the Gospel remains the same
If we get too stuck on the way we worship rather than the God we worship, we're in danger of making a mess of things.
: Once upon a time, the pipe organ was considered a disruptive innovation in worship, and people DIED to give us the Bible in anything other than Latin
#2: In this modern age, we are too easily distracted and disconnected from the Vine, the New Wine, Christ, the Holy Spirit...
We neglect our relationship with God yet expect to remain "OK"
Imagine a new wineskin filled with old wine, alongside one filled with the new: As fermentation happens the skin with new wine is stretched, grows, firms up, while the one with old wine remains limp and unstretched. Soon the difference becomes obvious.
So the questions of the day:
Lord, have I become more in love with "doing church" than I am in love with you? Has it been too long since I humbled myself before you, and let your will be done in me and through me? Have I started to substitute my judgment for an honest seeking after yours?
Lord, am I just going through the motions? Have I started to replace our relationship with other things, maybe even good things, but things which will leave me dry and exhausted? Am I trying so hard to be this person that I know you desire me to be, but feel like I'm running in place?
Lord, am I willing to dust off my Bible, renew my prayer time, avoid that which draws me further from you and sours my spirit, cling to that which renews me and fills me with your love?