Communion on the Moon
This Saturday, fifty years ago, three American astronauts made history by landing and walking on the moon. One of them was Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, a devout Christian. His first actions were to thank God, quote scripture, then take communion.
During a pivotal moment of one of the most significant human achievements the world would ever see, Aldrin’s focus was on what he valued most, to lift up the real hope of mankind.
Within significant events in history, there is always opportunity in how the event will affect society and how it will be remembered. Ultimately, it’s dependent on the people involved.
News articles reported that “on July 20, 1969, after the Eagle lunar lander touched down on the surface of the moon, Aldrin pulled out the wafer that was in a plastic packet and the wine, along with a small silver cup provided by his church, which he kept in his "personal-preference kit."
The fact that these were the items that Aldrin would choose to carry in his “personal preference kit” speaks volumes about his priorities.
Before taking the sacraments Aldrin said “I would 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." He then read the bible verse he had written on a 3 X 5 note card.
“As Jesus said: I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in Him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” John 15:5
His use of the word opportunity is something to pay attention too. Opportunity is something we are all given, not only during momentous occasions, but also on a daily basis along with talents and a sphere of influence that is uniquely ours. It is up to us as to how we use them.
Buzz Aldrin used his to honor God.
Here are his words from an interview after the mission:
"I wondered if it might be possible to take communion on the moon, symbolizing the thought that God was revealing Himself there, too, as man reached out into the universe.”
This beautiful thought, that wherever man is, God will reveal Himself there too, was shared with the world and is forever tied to this event because of one man’s priority of commitment to God and His ways.
What we value will affect the cultural legacy we leave.
Buzz Aldrin could have used this historical moment for self-promotion and celebrity status, but instead, his thoughts were on higher things…even higher than the moon.