Peace Lutheran Church of Edgemont
Sunday, May 09, 2021
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Through My Lens, Pastor Kara Shaw

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.


     For Valentine’s Day Travis got me an AMAZING box of Vosges Chocolates.  I enjoyed them for days and celebrated how amazing they were with each bite.  These were not the Wittman’s Chocolates from the dime store.  These were culinary art at its highest; the type of chocolates you don’t share with anyone.  After eating the last one I debated what I should do next… Do I keep the box do I throw it away?  The obvious answer stood to reason that I should just trash the purple velvet and shiny pink box it had served its duty well, but I loved that box and just seeing it brought me joy.  So, after watching an episode of Marie Kondo Tidying Up, I kept the box.  (Those people have too much of a lot of things but she is always bringing them little boxes).

    In the passage from Matthew I always wondered why people had old wine skins to start with.  I would think after holding wine for however long the wine skins would be nasty and proper disposal would be the obvious choice.  They had served their purpose well but their job was done.  I suppose there are those people in the world that will do anything to save a buck and I can be one of them about some things, so maybe Jesus was talking to those people— wasted money is better than wasted wine.  Now that’s a gospel message I can get behind.  I think there is more to what Jesus is saying than that.

    See once I had saved the box I had to reconcile myself with the fact that it was never going to hold chocolates… at least not those chocolates again.  Its life was going to be different.  That doesn't mean I didn’t treasure the chocolates that had been in it, or miss them— there many nights I sat wishing I had those chocolates.  I have thought about just ordering a new box, but they don’t make that exact box— it’s not valentine’s days anymore.  I also know that it wouldn’t be as special without the surprise and thoughtfulness permitting it.  So dedicated myself to finding a new use for that box.

     As I cleaned up my house and organized draw after draw I actively looked for something to do with my box, every time I thought I had an idea I would fill it and the items wouldn’t fit, or the box wouldn't fit in the space I had for it or something.  Giving up on ever finding a good use for the box.  I had made it to what was to be the last draw.  I had almost everything in the draw, but I needed something to hold the never ending pile of charger cables and little cubes that plug in the wall and ear buds and the adapters so you can use the earbuds.  I looked at jars and Tupperware.  I tried bowls and tins.  Nothing seemed to work then it caught my eye— my purple velvet heart shaped chocolate box.   It fit perfect.  The heart shape was made for sorting the tech supplies and it was just the right size for the items and the space.  Chargers and earbuds are a far cry from fancy chocolates, but the box lived on to be useful another day.

     Maybe this is part of the passage from Matthew.  Sure wine skins can’t be used for wine again, but we don’t just trash what we love.  Maybe wine skins became balls for children to play or you could change it into something else wholly.  See changing something from what it was to what is becoming is just the type of thing God does in our world.  Taking something old and finding a way to renew it is Jesus’s signature move.   This season we are living in is all about taking what others disregard and kill and watching to see how it bust on to the scene in a new and powerful way. 

     So this month at Peace we are going to celebrate God is taking things that seem empty and useless and transforming them in something new.    Despite our grief for the way things were and for the wine of the old wine skins, God is giving us new wine.  We aren’t throwing out the parts that bring us joy, or reinventing the wheel.  We are lifting up where we were and who we have always been.  Charter Day, Holy Week, Easter and more, I hope you will see that while we have been emptied of much in this last season, we are preparing to receive so much more and we are at our core who we have always been— A welcoming community filled with grace, joy + diversity. 

 This month please pray for peace with the following prayer:

    We thank you Lord God, for brave and believing people who planted you're message in this place.  We praise you for the gift of your Holy Spirit, who worked in them to gather and give order to this community and who still sustain it.  Remembering all those who have gone before, we pray that we may follow as they followed diverse unity of the cross, the truth of God’s grace and the joy of Christ resurrection in lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever.  Amen


Peace Lutheran Church

Pastor Kara Shaw

Call or Text (501)294-8289    Work (501) 723-4726