It is the Lord who speaks:
‘That day I will re-erect the tottering hut of David,
make good the gaps in it, restore its ruins
and rebuild it as it was in the days of old,
so that they can conquer the remnant of Edom
and all the nations that belonged to me.’
It is the Lord who speaks, and he will carry this out.
‘The days are coming now – it is the Lord who speaks –
when harvest will follow directly after ploughing,
the treading of grapes soon after sowing,
when the mountains will run with new wine
and the hills all flow with it.
I mean to restore the fortunes of my people Israel;
they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them,
plant vineyards and drink their wine,
dig gardens and eat their produce.
I will plant them in their own country,
never to be rooted up again
out of the land I have given them,
says the Lord, your God.’
John’s disciples came to him and said, ‘Why is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not?’ Jesus replied, ‘Surely the bridegroom’s attendants would never think of mourning as long as the bridegroom is still with them? But the time will come for the bridegroom to be taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one puts a piece of unshrunken cloth on to an old cloak, because the patch pulls away from the cloak and the tear gets worse. Nor do people put new wine into old wineskins; if they do, the skins burst, the wine runs out, and the skins are lost. No; they put new wine into fresh skins and both are preserved.’
No; they put new wine into fresh skins and both are preserved.
There was a period of time where the various parts of the 20-year-old car which I owned started to break down in rapid succession. First it was the timing belt, followed by the air-conditioner, the retraction mechanism for the windows, the rack and pinion and finally the windscreen wipers. In the end, the mechanic who repaired my car commented that if I continued with the replacement, the only thing which would have been remained in the original state would be the car plate number! It seems that the car cannot have a combination of both old and new parts together because the old parts would eventually give way as the new parts would work them harder thus accelerating their useful life-span.
Perhaps this is analogous to our spiritual lives too. God invites us to a total acceptance of the way he desires of us. The life of a Christian is not meant to be like a buffet where we can pick and choose the beliefs we like but more like a bento box where everything is presented to us in one, self-contained vessel where we have no option of choice of food. This then requires us to discard our former ways of life and embrace the way which God has invited us to live.
This is often difficult for us to subscribe to because there will be certain teachings which we cannot agree with. Yet, I believe it is the process in which we work towards understanding why a certain teaching needs to be understood in a particular way, will we then be able to appreciate the love of God in our lives. It is in challenges that we discover what it means to be a child of God. As we work towards this process, we will be able to discover the wonderful love which God has shared with us and fruits of living out such a life.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for the courage to accept the challenge you have given us to live the way of life you so desire of us.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who guide people to a new way of life.