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. 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 (NIV).As I thought about this, I wondered about new wineskins/old wineskins and new structures/old structures.
At times it seems to me that the inclusion of persons with disabilities into traditional church structures is tearing the old structures. The old structures are being torn
-through frustration of leaders, persons with disabilities, and their familiesI think the old structures are being challenged by the Spirit of the Lord who has finally gotten the attention of dense people like me.
-because of advocacy of people who "get it" for persons with disabilities
-from people being uncomfortable
-because of need for providing "extra" support to persons with disablities
-over challenges to the traditional excuses for doing nothing
-through tolerance for a very limited set of social behaviors
-by confusion over theological "curriculum" versus theological "practice"
-by groups breaking up over membership of persons with disabilities
-because of the desire to maintain the status quo
-and so on and so on
I guess you might develop new structures through the changes that the presence of excluded people bring. I mean, the reason that we know old wineskins don't work, is because people tried to put new wine into them and the old ones burst. We know that we shouldn't use unshrunk cloth for repairs, because people have ruined old garments by sewing unshrunk cloth into them. But perhaps there needs to be a time when structures get torn and burst for a while. In that way, we will then see that we need new wineskins, new structures to house the new inclusiveness we are evidencing for all people. We are in the sewing new cloth patches on old garments and putting new wine into the old wineskins phase. Hopefully, this will not lead to our rejecting the new wine, but rather to us making new wineskins to house the new wine.
The Way online, makes the following statement.
The parable of the wine and the wineskins is about putting new wine into a suitable vessel or container, and there are two vessels or containers that the Holy Spirit dwells in today:So to use their example, we need new wineskins within the church and we also need new wineskins within each believer. I think they are mutually effective on each other. Believers will effect the church and the church can effect believers.