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Fresh Wine of the Spirit

How many of us are well-versed in Scripture and even know many Biblical passages? Nicodemus was a leader and teacher, but he comes in the night to talk to Jesus because he realizes Jesus can teach him about the Kingdom of Heaven in new ways. He may well come at night because he doesn’t want his peers to know he is seeking fresh understanding about God. But when Jesus tells him he must be born again of the spirit, as a rational man no doubt smart and pious, this wisdom makes no sense to him. Of course, no one is physically born twice by diving back into the womb that was their place of nurture before being born. But Jesus says, “flesh gives birth to flesh, and spirit gives birth to spirit.”

Probably, you and I understand that spirit includes ideas that are not physical attributes, yet often we remain locked into old ideas, not bad ones, but old ones the way Nicodemus was that he and we need to outgrow.

We are often unwilling to drink fresh wine of the spirit. It is easier to stick with the past even though Jesus says, And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:22 NIV

I have struggled with the orthodox understanding about “repentance for the forgiveness of sin” as if we are all sinners who need to atone for our deadly deeds born out of Original Sin and our subsequent poor choices. No doubt if you are an ancient Hebrew who knows the creation story found in Genesis, you might agree that the choice against God’s command brought everyone down into an earthly existence full of pain, hard physical labor, and much suffering.

It seems to me that Jesus comes to free those ancient Hebrews from their old original thinking and their need to atone by sacrificing animals to God. Although Jesus is prophetic about the forgiveness of sins being preached in all nations, which has happened and still is, perhaps there is fresh wine of the spirit for us to understand.

Meditative Practice: Deep Dive

What pops out for you? A word, an image, a phrase?

Seek G-d (Mystery) in prayer and ask what he/she is teaching you.

Journal or draw your experience. 


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