Written by Rev. Dr. John Regan

In "How We Got to Now",Stephen Johnson tells the story of how glass changed our world. Although glass was known in the ancient world, the kind of ordinary clear glass that we use on a daily basis is a fairly recent innovation. In 1291, Venetian glass makers were all banished to the island of Murano because of recurring fires. This banishment created a cluster of glass makers who quickly became the glass masters of the world.

History credits the Venetian Angelo Barovier with discovering the process to make clear glass. Angelo called his invention "crystalo" or in English crystal. The Venetian government was somewhat protective of its burgeoning industry. Venetian glass makers worked under the threat of the death penalty if they shared any of their trade secrets with foreigners or if they decided to immigrate.

The new technology of glass had an unexpected ripple effect on history. It profoundly changed the way people would see the world. It was not long before glass makers made some "disks for the eyes" or the world's first pair of spectacles. Two hundred years later, a German inventor had the strange idea of using a grape press for a non-wine making purpose. Gutenberg’s press created a frenzied reading class. And most of these readers had a sudden revelation—they discovered that they were farsighted.

Until Gutenberg, the human ability to see the lion at the edge of the Savanah was the daily and primary evolutionary concern. But now people were curious about reading the story about Daniel in the den of lions and the time that Jesus turned water into wine. Glasses became an essential aid to read the Bible and many other books. Glass is back. Fiber optic glass tubes now bind the world together in strange new ways. We can see the whole world and any part of it with Google Earth.

Mark 8.25 -“Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and hissightwas restored, and he saw everything clearly.”

Like fine glass, Jesus and the Bible bring God into focus. Where has God become more transparent your world this week and did you take time to connect?

Immortal and Invisible One,
Your son is like glass. He has the power to correct our vision and to help us focus on hidden things that are far away, at the end of our nose, and peering at us in the mirror. Amen.


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