To The Moon And Back
As hard as we try there is no controlling life. For two and a half years I have done my best not to catch the dreaded ‘lurgy’ that seems to be in its third wave here in Australia as we manage through the cooler winter months. But alas, all my efforts in controlling the outcome failed last week as my body resembled an astronaut returning to earth from a mission to the moon. My system felt all out of whack, I couldn’t concentrate for very long, and not to mention my whole body felt five times heavier with every trip to the bathroom. You may smile because of course, I have no idea how an astronaut feels after touching down to earth from a mission to the moon. However, through the overthinking, incoherent messages I was sending to my friend all last week as I tried to do some work from the space of my bed, she responded so kindly with the words that she loved me, “To the moon and back” regardless of my ramblings. To the moon and back? Wow, that’s very far…
To the moon and back is 477,710 miles according to the internet or 768799.722 kilometres. But what is even more mind-blowing is that as far as the moon and back again are, God’s love for us exceeds that. Psalm 8:3-4 reminds us of God’s amazing handiwork. ‘Look at the splendour of your skies, your creative genius glowing in the heavens. When I gaze at your moon and your stars mounted like jewels in their settings, I know you are the fascinating artist who fashioned it all! But when I look up and see such wonder and workmanship above, I have to ask you this question: Compared to all this cosmic glory, why would you bother with puny, mortal man or be infatuated with Adam’s sons?’
Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin’s iconic mission of successfully landing on the moon on July 20th, 1969, was an amazing accomplishment. But did you know what is even more amazing is that NASA didn’t tell anyone that the first liquid to be poured and the first food to be eaten on the moon was the bread and the wine of communion? Incredible!
Aldrin was given special permission from NASA to take the elements on the space mission so he could pause for a moment to acknowledge, observe, celebrate, and thank his Creator from the lunar surface. As he took the elements, he read from John 15:5. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.’1
The gravity of God’s love for us went far beyond the moon and back because He gave His only Son so we could have the hope of our salvation. Amazingly, God created the universe with every syllable from His mouth. Yet, He still loves humans higher, deeper, and wider than all the cosmic stars put together because, unlike the universe, we get to have a relationship with Him. When we pause and remember the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross as we take the elements of communion, we acknowledge the power communion holds over death and darkness. We understand that we are not in control of this life, He is.
I’m sure as breathtakingly beautiful as the view of the earth must have been from the moon’s surface, Buzz possibly looked at the vastness of the universe and asked God the same question as the Psalmist at that moment. “Compared to all this cosmic glory, why would you bother with puny, mortal man or be infatuated with Adam’s sons?” Buzz took communion because he knew that God in His grace and goodness loved us all immeasurably more regardless of what we did to Him. ‘We looked down on him, though he was scum. But the fact is, it was our pains he carried – our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his failures. But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole.’ Isaiah 53:3-5 (MSG)
We take communion as a wonderful reminder of God’s goodness toward us. We give thanks because, like Buzz Aldrin, we acknowledge that we are not in control of our lives, nor are we the centre of this vast universe. The bread and the wine represent the gravity of the sacrifice it took to give us back our freedom from death and darkness, reminding us that even though we love others to the moon and back, God, through the sacrifice of His only Son, loves us immeasurably more.
Do you take time to remember what Jesus did for you with the elements of communion?
Today I pray that we will understand that regardless of all the accomplishments and successes we may achieve in this life, they are nothing compared to knowing You as our Lord and Saviour, God. We love You to the moon and back, but even that is nothing compared to the love You have for us. Thank you for the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, for our healing, for our redemption, and our salvation. Whenever we look at the moon we will remember that the elements of communion were taken on the lunar surface all because of one man’s acknowledgement of loving You, Lord, to the moon and back. Amen.
1 ‘Communion on the moon’ Illustra Media YouTube Watch