14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 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.
16 “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. 17 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.”
Dear God, it seems to me that the message of this story is that there is a time and a place for everything. I Googled the scientific results of putting new wine in old wineskins and came across a couple of commentaries where people weren’t seeing the connection between the matter at hand (fasting while Jesus was among the disciples) and unshrunk cloth patching old garments and new wine being put in old wine skins. What is the connection? Well, the connection for me is that there is a time and a place for everything.
So, what are some of the areas where that applies to my life today? What kinds of things is there a time and a place for?
I have been visiting a Catholic church lately, and one of the results of that is that I am not allowed to take communion there since I am not Catholic. They believe in transubstantiation (the literal changing of the wine and the bread into the blood and body of Jesus) and I do not so it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to partake while I am there. I’ve been okay with that. Right now, my wife and I are exploring our faith for this segment of our life, and what that might mean. But last night we went to an evangelical church for a Christmas Eve service, and it was the first time I have had communion in about 6 months. Frankly, the day had been a little rough for me, and I felt a little beaten up at that moment, so when I went up for communion I had to keep myself from literally breaking down and crying right there. I had tears in my eyes as I returned to my seat, and I sat there a while and had to regain my composure. I found that I have really missed communion. I have missed feeling like I am truly a part of the believers with whom I am worshipping. I have missed not feeling like someone on the outside looking in.
But again, there is a time and a place for everything, and it appears that this time in my life is not for belonging. It is for supporting my wife through her quest and for learning to love you through this time. I will say, however, it has really made me appreciate worshipping with like-minded people more than I thought it would, and it certainly made communion mean more to me than it probably has in a long time.
Father, help me to take this experience and build off of it. Help me to guide my children through this time. I pray that last night’s service was meaningful to them, even as we all explore our faith individually and as a family. Please touch our home. Please make us one as a family, and that starts with making my wife and me one. Please make us one, father, in every way. Give us one soul, heart, mind, and body. Parent our children through us and through others. Be glorified in our lives.