Reflections about new and old, aged and young.

Today I begin a new life. Today I shed my old skin which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity. Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all. — Og Mandino

For I am full of words,
and the spirit within me compels me;
inside I am like bottled-up wine,
like new wineskins ready to burst.
— Job 32:18-19

Then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. — Deuteronomy 11:14

‘Israel will live in safety; Jacob will dwell secure in a land of grain and new wine, where the heavens drop dew.’ — Deuteronomy 33:28

‘May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.’— Genesis 27:28

SONGS about WINE:

NEW WINE — Deakin Dixon

Black grape, black grape,
On the hillside growing clean;
Round grape,
Thick stem,
Curled green.

You were young snd green and tight,
Virgin blushing with the sun,
You have done what I have done,
Lain with summer,
Sweet and supple,
Yielded, given maidenhead,
While you lay in summer’s bed.

Black and golden,
Blue and purple,
Now you stand upon the vine,
Waiting for strong hands to make you
Into wine.

COMMENTARY on WINE

Wine has kind of like a binary moral value for the Hebrew Bible authors … because it’s a gift to the garden, which means it’s good. Genesis 1, it’s good. Psalm 104 says, “God gives grass to the creatures and makes crops grow out of the ground and vine to give joy to the human heart.” Psalm 104. But then you know, the Proverbs will also say wine is a mocker and strong drink is a brawler. It’ll make you get into fights and get hurt and then not remember in the morning. So, just like anything that’s good, it can be taken one of two ways… So it’s another way that the tree [of life] represents a choice for people. There’s all these stories about often leaders who get drank… It’s just being the fruit of the vine tree… Just comparing those two things, like you can be filled with God’s Spirit, his wisdom… You can be under the influence of the Spirit, in which case you’ll have discernment to make wise choices that bring good to you and other people. And if your brain’s not working right, especially if you caused your brain not to work right [by drinking too much, for instance], you’re going to hurt yourself or hurt other people or both. And that’s the way of folly. Two different ways. It can gladden your heart and be a gift of God, because it tastes amazing, but it can also destroy you, like most good things in life.— The Bible Project podcast. See full text: https://d1bsmz3sdihplr.cloudfront.net/media/Podcast%20Transcripts/TBP%20Transcripts/Tree%20of%20Life_E10_Is%20the%20Tree%20of%20Life%20Practical%20Transcript.pdf

The WINE of LOVE — James Thomson

The wine of Love is music,
And the feast of Love is song:
And when Love sits down to the banquet,
Love sits long:

Sits long and ariseth drunken,
But not with the feast and the wine;
He reeleth with his own heart,
That great rich Vine.

POEM — Rumi

You shattered my cup.

You shattered my cage.

Light, feast, triumphant blessing,

friend, trickster, haven for my drunken heart,

you brought my spirit to a boil,

turned my grapes to wine.

you lit a fire to the fragrant wood

and body of song in me.

Watch the smoke rise.


POEM — Rumi

We are the mirror,
also the face in it.

Drunk from eternal wine,
we are also the cup we sip from.

We prevent illness;
we also cure it.

We are the water of life,
also the jar that pours it.

Using the Three “R”s to Understand a Mysterious Teaching — Unity.org. Full article: https://www.unity.org/article/how-stop-putting-new-wine-old-wineskins

How to Avoid Exploding Wineskins

The comparison is a very apt one when we think of the properties of wine and wineskins. When wine is new, it is in a state of fermentation. It bubbles and expands as the fermentation gases are released. A fresh, pliable wineskin can absorb such expansion and slowly age-with the wine until the fermentation process is complete.

To put fresh wine into an old wineskin, however, is asking for trouble. The old wineskin has assumed a definite shape and is no longer pliable. It is fixed and somewhat brittle. The activity of new wine will stress it beyond its ability to yield. And so both the wine and the skin are lost.

We can’t put new ideas into old mindsets. We can’t get new results with old behaviors.

For example, one of the most common resolutions, and one that gets broken most often, has to do with weight control. … What most of us fail to do is address permanent changes in our eating habits. Trying to put the new wine of a trimmer body into the old wineskin of established and ingrained poor eating patterns cannot bring lasting results.

Habits unchecked are stronger than conscious willpower every time. Only when we fully understand what is really going on at the level of unconscious behavior can we take control and bring willpower to bear.

How many times have we said something like “I’m tired of procrastinating. Beginning tomorrow I’m not putting things off any longer”?

And we try! But somehow tomorrow never quite comes …

How about, “I resolve that this new year will be my most prosperous and rewarding year ever.” … Chances are we are still holding on to some old wineskin ideas concerning our true source of abundance. We haven’t fully bought in to the concept of giving and receiving.

We can’t put new ideas into old mindsets. We can’t get new results with old behaviors.

So how do we get these new wineskins—these new minds out of which our new life will emerge? [With] three strong verbs, “Repent, Replace, and Relax.”Repent Means to Change Your Thinking

Repent means so much more than being conscience-stricken or contrite. The underlying Greek word is a form of metanoia, which means to undergo a fundamental change in one’s mind or character. Simply put, to repent is to change one’s thinking. Shift paradigms.

The apostle Paul grasped this well. To his friends in Rome, he said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds” (Romans 12:2). And to those in Philippi, “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

The way Jesus saw the world is crucial to understanding and living in the new paradigm, the new wineskin. Do we want prosperity? We can adopt the Jesus mind-set of an opulent universe. The old wineskin says that the harvest comes only at a certain time and in a certain way. The new wineskin of the Christ mind says, “But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting” (John 4:35) and “give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap” (Luke 6:38).

The old paradigm says, “Yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it!” The new paradigm says, “Ah, you’ll see it when you believe it!”

The essence of repentance is letting go of old, limited ideas and investing our belief in new, expansive ideas.

Here are some bold thoughts for your new future:

  • I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.
  • I have the mind in me that is also in Christ Jesus.
  • I lovingly release all old, unproductive thoughts and feelings and let them go.
  • I change my thinking now from lack to plenty, from illness to health, from the old me to the new me.
  • I joyfully welcome new ideas from the Christ mind in me, and I am transformed.

Replace with New Thoughts

Now let’s do some replacing, our second “R.” The Unity method of affirmative prayer can be very helpful here. We construct meaningful affirmations that keep our conscious mind interested and entertained and then we practice them repetitively so that our subconscious mind is impressed with the change.

Then start replacing the old lifestyle: My meals are healthy and balanced, and my exercise is sufficient. I am trimmer and fitter now.

Make sure that the two conditions in the affirmations are true, that your meals are healthy and balanced and that you are getting enough exercise. We can’t kid ourselves here. Such an affirmation keeps us conscious of our goal, and practice and repetition make it a habit.

As we replace old patterns with new ones and use them, not as temporary measures but as permanent changes, we become transformed. Our repentance takes on visibility.Then Relax About It

And now the third “R”—relax. Let the process work. Relaxing doesn’t mean going back to the old patterns. It means not worrying or straining for results. Don’t establish unrealistic time frames. It took us awhile to get this way, and it will take a while for changes to fully materialize.

Relaxing means to give things the light touch. It means not condemning the old concepts and behaviors. Just let them go. They have served their purpose of bringing us to this present moment.

Talk to your body and give it instructions to relax, beginning with the toes and working upward or with the scalp and working down. A regular period of time set aside for the purpose of relaxing can be of inestimable value for our bodies and our minds.Don’t Forget to Pray

It is always a good idea to surround the whole process of repenting, replacing, and relaxing with prayer. Spend time in the silence with the Lord of your being, your source of guidance and energy.

In the deep silence, you may tap into that vast, inexhaustible source of universal energy and become fully empowered to change your thinking and to begin replacing old, limited patterns of living with new, vital ones. You can change your thinking now from the old to the new, from the impossible to the possible, from the limited to the unlimited.

HOLY WEEK with JCC and around Town

April 10-17

Sun, April 10 – PALM SUNDAY

  • INTERFAITH GATHERING
    8am • Old Red Library & Zoom
    Join us for poetry, prayer, and conversation.
  • VIRTUAL CHOIR REHEARSAL
    9am •  Zoom
    Join choir director Rebecca Moore to prepare Palm Sunday & Easter Sunday songs.
  • WORSHIP with PALMS
    10:30am • (zoom & in-person)
    • Music by Alan Labrie
    • JCC Virtual Choral Anthem: Prepare Ye the Way from Godspell
    • Palms for everyone
    • Message by Rev Gail Pomeroy Doktor
    • Guest: Rev Joyce Scott
    • Zoom link required. Contact church: [email protected]
    • Service will also be live-streamed to website and Facebook (if technology supports this function on the day of event).
    • Afterward, recordings of worship service will be posted to FacebookVimeo.com channel & Youtube.com channel

Wed, Apr 13 

  • EASTER EGG-STUFFING
    10:45am • JCC Council Room
    Deacons and volunteers meet after Laurie McAleer’s fitness class to stuff Easter eggs which will be hidden on our campus as part of the village-wide Easter egg hunt held by Chamber of Commerce on Easter Sunday. Thanks to Deacon Sandy Louis for connecting us to this event.
  • C3: COCKTAILS & CHRISTIAN CONVERSATIONS / HOLY WEEK STUDY SESSION
    5pm • Zoom link required. Contact church: [email protected]
    Bring your adult beverage and your curiosity for a conversation about our sacred text

Thurs, Apr 14: MAUNDY THURSDAY

  • SOUP SUPPER & TABLE WORSHIP
    6pm • JCC Parish House (in person & zoom)
  • OVERNIGHT VIGIL
    8pm (Thurs) – Noon (Fri) – virtual / hold vigil in your own place or come to JCC and hold vigil
    • Virtual vigil:  People email the church and sign up to meditate on words from scripture throughout the night.
    • Each household takes one hour.
    • Meditate on a whole Biblical passage, or read and choose one word or image on which to focus. Be active or contemplative. Walk, knit, play music, stay quiet, pray, cook, make something, stay home, go outside.
    • Vigil commences after the soup supper & worship and ends at noon on Friday, when the final three hours are observed in the sanctuary.

Fri, Apr 15 – HOLY FRIDAY

  • FINAL HOURS: Vigil
    Noon-3pm • JCC Sanctuary
    • Also live-streaming to website & Facebook
    • Scripture will be read at the top of each hour: Noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm .
    • People often traditionally experience the Via Crucis / Way of the Cross during this time.
       
  • ECUMENICAL HOLY FRIDAY TENEBRAE SERVICE
    6pm • First Church of Christ, UCC in North Conway, NH
    All are welcome. Virtual live-streaming info will be provided once it has been shared by planning team.
    Planned and hosted by Clergy of the Eastern Slopes (of which Rev Gail is a member).

Sun, Apr 17 – EASTER SUNDAY

  • SUNRISE WORSHIP 
    5:45am • End of Presidential Drive off Tin Mine Rd, Jackson
    • In-person & live-streaming to Facebook / FB
    • Sunrise = 5:58am
    • Donuts & Coffee @ service provided by deacons
       
  • EASTER SUNDAY WORSHIP with Flowering of the Cross
    10:30am • JCC (in-person & zoom)
    • Zoom link required. Contact church: [email protected]
    • JCC Virtual Choral Anthem: Easter Song
    • Guest musician: Dominique Dodge, Harp
    • Flowering the Cross
    • Alan Labrie’s last day as organist
       
  • EASTER EGG HUNT
    11:30-2pm • JCC Campus and around the village loop
    Part of Jackson-wide egg hunt sponsored by Chamber
  • FLOWERED CROSS OUTSIDE
    Flowered cross will be placed outside the church with bucket of flowers for people to add as they pass. Will be returned inside by late afternoon.
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