Anna and I had a great conversation this morning. We were talking about a new song that we will be introducing soon called "New Wine". I asked her if she liked the song. She said she loved it. I smiled and said, "Ok. What is the song about." She thought for a minute and laughed. "I am not really sure, mom."
So many times we sing songs because they sound nice and they make us feel good but do we really understand what we are singing about. As we plan worship here at FCC, we really try to take into consideration the message of the music. Here are some of the questions we ask when planning: Is it in line with the truth of the Bible? Is it honoring to God and useful for the church to sing together? Does it clearly lead people into a deeper relationship with God?
So back to the new song we were discussing. It is called "New Wine". It is a song about surrender and spiritual growth through times of testing and trial.
In the Bible, wine represents things like life, blessing, joy, and promises or covenants with God. Wine is made by first crushing the grapes and then applying pressure to release the juice used to make wine. In our lives this illustration can be experienced in the midst of trials and challenges. They are usually quite painful and can often leave us feeling like we have been abused or abandoned by God. After the pressing is over, the development of the wine begins. In our lives it is usually after a serious time of trial or testing that we begin to see God and experience His presence in our lives with more intensity than before.
In my life personally there have been times of crushing and pressing. I remember feeling very frustrated and even hurt by God in the process. I even questioned my faith some. I was not sure why God would let these things happen to me. Why was He allowing me to hurt like this? I can look back now at those painful times and see how much I have grown because of those experiences. I can see now that I am a deeper, stronger, more passionate follower of Christ.
In this song it refers to new wine bringing new power and new power bringing freedom. This is the result of the process of surrender that we go through when we allow God to crush us, press us, and make us new.
The greatest example of someone being crushed and pressed as he surrendered to God's will was Jesus. His life is the representation of new wine. He was completely surrendered to God, and through his death on the cross where his body was crushed and his blood was poured out, the new covenant was made with God. We are freed from the bondage of our sins because Jesus was willing to surrender and die for us. Christ was willing to be crushed for us and in his obedience saved us.
This song is written in the form of a prayer that says, "Make me your vessel, make me an offering, make me whatever you want me to be. I came here with nothing, but all You have given me. Jesus, bring new wine out of me."
My prayer is that we would be willing to sing this song together as a church family. I pray that God would challenge our church to continue to grow even when it hurts. I pray that we would be a vessel that God could do whatever He wants to with. I pray that God would bring new wine out of us.
"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland." Isaiah 43:19
Here is the link to the song if you would like to listen: