And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it 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, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Analogy with a wedding feast is given, the statement compares the joy at the start of the relationship which is replaced by sorrow with the coming of separation. The parable that follows seems with an initial reading to stray from this; but with reflection it addresses the appropriateness of mixing up any two of a kind that do not share the same attributes. Do we express signs of sorrow when in the midst of rejoicing? This passage calls for further study of the purpose and meaning behind fasting and prayer. That understanding would clarify the appropriateness of their use.
It would seem, also, that anything new gets better with time. We find that to be true especially with respect to relationships that stand the test of time. The initial flush of joy grows in maturity to something of lasting satisfaction. Our relationship with the Lord begins with the initial flush of joy and through tests and time, deepens into a relationship that supports and satisfies the soul and heart of our being. Do we mix the old way of living with the new? Not so, that is when there is conflict within the center of our being. As we spend time with the Lord through the Word and in prayer, we learn of Him and that learning provides us with the ability to withstand the conflicts and in Him, rise above them. And in this manner the new ‘wine’ becomes ‘old wine’. A life that we call good.