July 23, 2017
   
 
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Pastor David Fechner and his wife Carole 

From the Pastor’s Laptop

When I hear the name Thomas Edison, the first thing I (and many other people) think of is the electric light bulb. The second thing is sound recordings, for he is responsible for the invention of both. But I read once that he is credited with more than 1000 inventions, including the mimeograph machine, which was patented in 1876.

Though mimeos are a thing of the past, I’ve wondered how many words on how many tons of paper were printed on mimeographs over the years. Years ago, the congregation I was serving was going to make the switch from a mimeograph to a plain paper copier. The copier salesmen asked how many copies we currently made and then tell us that with a copier that number would double! When computers became common we were told the use of paper would go down. Actually it has gone up.

Suffice it to say that since Gutenberg’s movable type printing press was invented, mountains of paper have been filled with print, and we’re surrounded by words—both printed and spoken.

If you look at your Bible, you might say, “Now there’s a book with a lot of words!” And it is. But in some ways, even though it has lots of words, written over the course of many centuries by many human authors, the message is fairly simple. In it God says to us, “I love you. I want you to live with me forever.”

You have your own favorite passages that give you that message. A few of my favorites are:

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10), and of course a favorite of many Christians is John 3:16.

Each of those passages talks about God’s Son, Jesus Christ. St. John in his Gospel calls Jesus the “Word of God in the flesh” (chap. 1), and the author of the Hebrews writes: “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Heb. 1:1-2a).

Many words, one message: God is Love.