I have returned from my long hiatus. Life was very busy indeed this year. Life was also very exciting and life changing in a great way. Now, I am back, in time for a Christmas message. This year, I remember not only Christmas 2008, but also 1968.
Yesterday, National Public Radio aired a report heralding the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 8 spaceflight and the first orbiting of the moon. The first time human beings had traveled so far from Earth.
When Apollo 8 orbited the moon in 1968, the world seemed a chaotic and uncertain place, even for the little boy that I was. Forty years on, the world seems to be at another one of those uncertain times, perhaps even more so than in 1968.
The crew of Apollo 8 delivered a Christmas Message back to Earth and offered us a view of a small fragile orb set against the dark of space. Remembering this and the message they sent reminds me that God is in control of life and that life is a precious thing. That despite the failings of humanity, there is hope. Where there is life there is hope. And where there is life and hope there is God.
Maybe you remember 1968 and the awe you felt when you saw your home from space as never before. Perhaps you are too young to remember. Either way I invite and urge you to listen and look at this moment in history.
Just stop and think about life, as you never have before. Think about your place in the universe. Think about where you are in life. Think about your life with God. May these thoughts lead you to a new perspective, new fascination, and renewed faith.
And now, to paraphrase the message from Apollo 8, “From the Gentleman Agitator, a goodnight, good luck, a Merry Christmas and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”
1968: Apollo 8 Christmas Eve, by Cantonrep at YouTube