S (Scripture): Mark 2:18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. So they came to Jesus and said, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don’t fast?” 19 Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they do not fast. 20 But the days are coming when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and at that time they will fast. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and the tear becomes worse. 22 And no one pours new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins will be destroyed. Instead new wine is poured into new wineskins.”
O (Observation): A new day has dawned for God’s people! The Savior walks on the earth, in flesh and blood – simultaneously natural and supernatural.
Now God’s people – and anyone living in Israel at the time – experience God in the person of Jesus.
The point is made pretty clear, this is a new thing that requires different practices. The disciples will spend there time in fellowship with Jesus, as opposed to strictly following the old practices that brought you closer to God. They couldn’t get much closer to God than following Jesus in the flesh!
A (Application): I recently heard about a book called “4 Small Words” by Jarrett Stevens. The words the title refers to are:
OF, BETWEEN, WITH, and IN.
The relationship between humanity and God goes like this: we are created in the image OF God; after the Fall, we needed someone to facilitate the relationship BETWEEN us and God; in Jesus, God is WITH us; post-Ascension, God now lives IN us.
I’m haven’t read the book, but I like the movement, and it makes sense to me. This is the overarching sweep of the story of God and humanity, according to the Bible.
In the text I’m looking at this morning, the disciples are clearly distinguishing between God and humanity needing someone to come BETWEEN them into realizing that God is WITH them in the person of Jesus.
Can’t go about the old ways when something new is right there! Jesus is WITH them now.
For us today, we see Christ living IN us. We are in a dance with the Trinity; we are caught up in God living IN us, and us living in God. We are the body of Christ. Jesus came to reveal that to us and to help us live into that understanding.
He was a leader for the disciples. Now, Jesus calls us to lead others into this understanding that God lives in us. He showed the disciples…now we show each other.
How is that going for you? I try to share with others via this blog and in my daily ministry. Where is it working for you to share God’s closeness? Where is it not working?
P (Prayer): Lord, our failures and frailties fracture our faith. Give us strength to know you are near – indeed, IN us! Amen.