Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
This passage declares that God would demonstrate his sovereignty by overthrowing the Chaldean Empire and bringing the Jews back to Palestine. He was the same God who made a path through the Red Sea for the Hebrews of the Exodus and drowned the Egyptian chariots that pursued after them. But his coming deliverance was to eclipse even that in glory. For he would guide the liberated Jews through the parched Syrian Desert and cause it to put forth streams of water to quench their thirst.
This new beginning was going to be so great that they were to forget all that had happened in the past.
Jesus said a similar thing when in answer to a question John the Baptist’s disciples asked about His disciples not fasting. He answered, by saying you can’t mix a new thing with the old. If you both the new and old will be destroyed.
Matthew 9:14-17 NIV Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”
At another time Jesus told His disciples that they are living in a time that the prophets longed to see.
Luke 10:24 (NLT) I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.”
We need new wineskins because God has new wine for us. Our mindsets cannot contain what God wants to do in and through us. It means letting go of what’s comfortable, what we can understand and do well, what we want to do – and letting God lead us into a whole new world of experiences. Jesus said “What I am bringing cannot be contained in your thinking right now”.
New Wine, New Wineskins helps African American congregations understand and benefit from the cultural shifts we are now experiencing.