When Jesus sent out his disciples to preach the Gospel he gave them power to tread upon serpents and scorpions. Today the things threatening our welfare are far different from serpents and scorpions.
As Christians needing to come to grips with modern problems, at times we need more than the simple answers provided by the Gospels. We need to step back from the Gospel, praying for the answers for our quite different world, with its new problems.
For instance, yesterday’s today’s paper carried a story about the hole in the Ozone over the South Pole. The article pointed out that while every bit of the earth’s energy comes to us in the rays of the sun, there is a segment of those sun rays that could be deadly for us. That harmful segment of the sun’s rays comes to us at the ultraviolet end of the spectrum of those rays.
Now, a peculiar thing about those ultraviolet rays is that they cannot pass through the element Ozone. God, of course knew that when he was creating our planet, so to protect us from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, he laid a layer of Ozone over the whole of the stratosphere that envelops our earth.
However, as the newspaper article points out, for the past fifty years the smoke from our modern industries has been sending up refrigerants and other chemicals that destroy Ozone. We see the extent of this destruction by a hole in the Ozone layer above the South Pole.
When this widening hole in the Ozone over the South Pole was discovered thirty years ago, representatives from the world’s industrial nations met in Montreal Canada in 1987 to find a way to keep the hole from widening. They all signed the Montreal Protocol by which they agreed to restrict the sending of the harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. The article in today’s paper tells us that those restrictions are beginning to work, and the hole in the Ozone layer above the South Pole is getting smaller.
When the Gospels were written people had not heard of Ozone. They had not even heard of the South Pole. To, live the way God wants us to live in this world we must do more than read the Bible, we must also develop an understanding of this world God has created for us.