Law, Grace & New Wine

In his parable of the wineskins, Jesus taught, "No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, 'The old is good'" (Luke 5:37-39).​ Jesus was comparing the kingdom of heaven to the process of fermentation. Nowadays, winemakers store their vintage in casks and cellars equipped with modern refrigeration. The ancients did not have a way to stop wine from fermenting, especially in the deserts of the Near East. Like us moderns, they preferred aged wine. However, they often added water to it to dilute the bitterness and the alcohol proof. If someone put old wine into a new wineskin, it would burst open during fermentation. 


Blessed are you, LORD our God, King of the universe, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well-pleasing in your sight; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, and remain with us always. Amen.


The Book of Common Prayer. Huntington Beach, CA: Anglican Liturgy Press, 2019. p. 263.