In the Gospel Jesus said that people did not put new wine in old wine skins. His observation meant more in his days than it does for us, since today we keep wine in bottles, not in animal skins. At times we need to step back from the Gospel accounts to look at our quite different new world, with its new problems.
For instance, today’s paper carries a story about the hole in the Ozone above the South Pole. The article points 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 of 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 chemicals that destroy Ozone. We can observe 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.