Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taking Jesus With Us

Dear Friend,

For those of you close to my age, do you remember when “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong walked on the moon? That was July 20, 1969 and the recent death of Armstrong led me to the Internet as I reminisced about such an enormously important event in America’s history. Armstrong was the first on the moon and said: “One small step for (a) man, one giant step for mankind.” Then, Aldrin stepped onto the moon’s surface and both men spent the next 2 ½ hours walking and exploring with our Nation transfixed in awe as we watched the camera feed and listened to the live broadcast.

As I scanned the various published articles about the voyage of Apollo 11, I read something that I had not heard before. As soon as the lunar module had landed, and before Armstrong’s historic moment, something happened of even greater importance that was not broadcast. What we heard was Aldrin saying: “This is the lunar module pilot. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.
“You have set Your glory in the heavens.. When I consider the heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place.. Who are we that You are mindful of us.. human beings that You care for us.”  Psalm 8
In the radio silence that followed, listen to Aldrin describe what happened next: “In the radio blackout, I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the scripture, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.' I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements."

Aldrin had wanted to broadcast the communion but NASA had refused for fear of lawsuits by atheists. Aldrin was an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church in Webster, Texas and his communion kit was prepared by his pastor. Webster Presbyterian possesses the chalice used on the Moon and commemorates the event each year on the Sunday closest to July 20. This astronaut – this man of God – took the Presence of Jesus Christ to the moon. The first supper served on the moon was the Lord’s Supper. Some of the first words spoken after the lunar landing were scripture – the words of Jesus from John 15:5 (underlined above) and also portions of Psalm 8.

Is there someplace we should be taking Jesus that we’ve never taken Him before? To our work? Our school? Our neighbor’s home? Our home?  Lord, forgive us when we’ve rushed off to go somewhere in our cluttered and chaotic lives and left You behind. For without You, we can do nothing...  AMEN?
The AMEN Corner is a weekly devotional for the family and friends of New Hope Family Church. It is intended for this devotional to be strengthening, encouraging or comforting and your comments too should be for the glory of God and reflect the intended purpose of these posts.

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