Wineskins bust. : Parables from Death Row : Hood & Johnson

Wineskins bust. : Parables from Death Row : Hood & Johnson January 7, 2024

Wineskins bust.: Parables from Death Row: Hood & Johnson


Bart Johnson, Prisoner on Alabama’s Death Row

The Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, Death Row Spiritual Advisor


Wineskins bust.  You can’t put new wine in old wineskins.  Such information seems meaningless unless you care about wineskins.  Then again, the parables of Jesus always seem meaningless until we figure out a way to give them meaning…until we find a way to make them meaningful…meaningful to our moment.  Some parables age better than others.  The wineskins seem a little dense because most of us don’t even know what a wineskin is.  Wine comes in a bottle.  Right?  So how do these parables even have meaning?  Why should they matter?  Shouldn’t these old parables be meaningless amidst new understandings?  Simply be unable to fit into our moment?  Again, we have got to find a way to make them matter…or…all the stories…all the parables…are a bust.


Maybe the point is for the story to bust.  Think about it.  Why do we spend so much time trying to make stories or lessons fit into our containers?  The Gospel should be busting out.  Right?  If the Gospel fits into a container…then it’s not the Gospel.  So, what’s all this foolishness about wineskins?  Even in the freest of circumstances, you have got to have a container in order to drink wine.  Then again, there is a difference between when the wine flows freely and the wine is rationed.  If the wine is flowing freely, then the container can’t hold it…because we keep drinking it.  Perhaps banquets always bust containers…always bust wineskins?


Old wineskins allow the wine to flow more freely…because we have to drink it to keep it from busting out.


New wineskins allow the wine to sit and ferment…because wine tastes better the longer it sits.


It’s all so confusing.


Old or new?  Maybe we just need to throw out the wineskins altogether?  Seems like it’s more expedient to just drink wine where we find it.  Does there have to be wineskins?  Containers can be so constricting.

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