Neil Armstrong’s passing last week gave me cause to stop and reflect on the glory days of our space program of the 1960's and 70's. I remembered something else that was pretty remarkable that occurred several months before Armstrong took his giant leap during the Apollo 11 mission. And while we might return to the moon’s surface some day, but I'm skeptical that we’ll ever see a recurrence of what happened during Apollo 8.
On Christmas Eve, 1968, Apollo 8 crew members sent magnificent pictures of our planet back to us from the perspective of the moon. I think it was the first time we’d seen the beauty of God’s creation from that vantage point. Then astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders did what nowadays would be unheard of.
With the largest ever television audience at that point in history watching, the three men began to read:
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth..."
Genesis 1. They read the first ten verses of the Bible. Could you imagine the uproar that such an outrageous act would cause today?? The next day, they did something even more remarkable, by today’s standards...they prayed.
The forces that wrestle for control of our nation wouldn’t stand for such behavior today. The ALCU and atheists organizations would see to it that such outlandish actions never occur. The sad part is, as a society, we’ve succumbed to their pressures, and no astronaut would ever think to acknowledge a creator, let alone pray to one publicly.
Give us, O God, the vision which can see thy love in the world in spite of
human failure. Give us the faith to trust the goodness in spite of our
ignorance and weakness. Give us the knowledge that we may continue to
pray with understanding hearts, and show us what each one of us can do
to set forth the coming of the day of universal peace. Amen.
Apollo 8's Christmas Eve broadcast: