We have the Sumerians to thank for being the first to record their language for writing purposes. The nod goes to Johann Gutenberg for the first movable type printing press. The first mechanical copier, known as a book press, was invented by none other than James Watt of modern steam engine fame. However, the name you need to know is Chester Carlson.

For every one of you who crank out a newsletter, do a family Christmas letter or have to make multiple copies of handouts, you would be at a loss to do so without Chester Carlson. He is the father of xerography. Photocopying. Was he a famous inventer? No. He was a patent attorney back in the 1930's who came up with an idea.

In 1937 Carlson devised the concept of xerography. He began shopping his idea around to the moguls of the day; IBM, GE, Eastman Kodak. They all greeted him with such unbridled skepticism that he later called it "an enthusiastic lack of interest." An obscure photographic supply company called Haloid took a chance on Carlson's concept. Today Haloid is known as the Xerox Corporation and has Carlson to thank for their success.

The first machine was a rather clunky animal manufactured in 1949. It required four dozen manual operations to produce a copy in three minutes. Ten years later the Haloid Xerox 914 was produced and offices haven't been the same since. Imagine, making copies of the original. God had done that a millennium ago as he made the church a copy of the kingdom of heaven and sent His Son Jesus to save the copy.

"Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things with better sacrifices than these. For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Hebrews 9:23, 24 The church is proof of the kingdom of heaven. You can't have a copy if there is no original.