The Eighth Sunday after Trinity
July 25, 2021
Mark 2:18-22 (NIV) "Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, "How is it that John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?" 19 Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. 20 But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast. 21 "No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins."
As we follow up on last week’s text, we see a contrast between the ceremonial laws of the Old Testament, the “old ways”, and the “new ways”. God demanded many things of his people in the Old Testament. When it comes to the ceremonial laws, and we may think first of all about the laws regarding the Sabbath Day (Remember Luther’s explanation of the Third Commandment?) we have no ceremonial laws for our New Testament lives. We do not have to sacrifice bulls and goats and lambs and pigeons. We do not have to worship on the Old Testament Sabbath but may worship on any day.
The old and the new do not mix. Wineskins were the skin of a sheep or goat sewn up and used as a holder for wine. It had to be flexible to permit the wine to ferment.
That does not mean we are free to ignore and despise God’s Word, but are to gladly hear and learn it and make application to our lives, to live God’s Word. God’s will is plain from his moral law, summarized in the Ten Commandments. Jesus summarized the law in one word: love. Love God and love your neighbor.
Almighty God, who has promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in Thy Son’s name, we beseech Thee mercifully to incline Thine ears to us who make our prayers and supplications unto Thee. Grant those things which we have faithfully asked according to Thy will. This we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord. Amen