When I blogged on Wednesday about my misreading of the lectionary, I was quite tickled at the way things had worked out so that I was able to continue the train of thought started at the Fresh Expressions meeting.
I was even more delighted to read Jonny yesterday, mulling on the same passage (and joining some dots for me, which I'd kind of scribbled over in my eagerness to engage with the hard parts of the message for one who loves traditional church)...He offers sensible comfort for those who love church as it is, as well as a vision for those longing for church that will be
the thing that struck me about the story last time i read it was the last line about old or vintage wine. once you have drunk the good stuff why would you bother experimenting with the new... so if you are in or have people who are drinking at the well of good vintage wine in churches, then great - let them keep drinking.but if there is going to be good vintage in the future we need pioneers who will go and find new soil and plant vines to begin the process of developing new wine.
Now Maggi has picked up the theme as well, and writes here
I'm particularly struck by her comment that we need to discern which wines will improve with keeping, and which will be anything but enjoyable a few years down the line.
I love the concept of a mixed economy church, which offers both old and new ways of meeting with God, -but I wrestle with my own propensity to try and do it all (a danger built in to "mixed economy" models)...and I know that this would be neither healthy nor, I suspect, manageable.
So for the moment, all I can do is to wait and listen and listen and wait, trusting that as I learn what lies at the heart of these communities I will also come to learn how to help them fruitfully engage with God in the future.