Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The World is not ending today...can you see it?

   The year was 1493. The world was massively changing. In just the year before, Columbus set sail from Spain to find a new passage across the center of the Atlantic Ocean going west. Fifty years earlier, Johannes Gutenberg had quietly invented the printing press. It was this invention that prompted the printing of the The Nuremberg Chronicle in 1493. It was the first book to successfully integrate illustrations and text. It contained illustrations from around Europe and also from the Holy Lands, along with history lessons that followed the story of humanity as it was told in the Bible. This was a really big deal. This should have been cause of celebration, as the new technology of being able to print rapidly, compared to copying by hand, could help change lives through offering information to thousands of people. This was great...except the author, Hartmann Schedel, only saw the tragedy and suffering around him. He finished the book with a very pessimistic outlook on the world. Then, he literally included a few blank pages at the end for people to use to record the remaining days and moments of history, because he was sure the world was doomed! I guess he was wrong on his outlook of things. Think about all the changes that someone born in that same year would live to see...
  • the first newspaper published
  • massive contributions in the world of art, music, sculpture
  • the Reformation of the Church led by Luther and Calvin and others
  • the invention of the watch, enabling coordination of people and advances in science
  • use of new lenses in telescopes that allow for tremendous increases in observing deeper into space
Rabbi Edwin Friedman wrote about this when he said, "In order to imagine the unimaginable, people must be able to separate themselves from surrounding emotional processes before they can even begin to see (or hear) things differently." God wants to do a new work around us. God wants to restore and redeem the world. Read it in Isaiah 43:19.

   We must pray to God for God's Spirit to lift from us the fog that our own fears and worries and lack of clarity allow to cover over the good that is happening around us. God is at work. This is true for the world, for the church, for our families, for our selves.
   Grace and peace, Scott

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