Fw: Fwd: Communion on the Moon

Sent: Monday, December 09, 2013 9:26 AM
Subject: Fw: Fwd: Communion on the Moon

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I presume that most of us were unaware of this story.  I didn't know this, but it's awesome!
 
Communion on the Moon: July 20, 1969   (This is an article by Eric Metaxas)
 
Forty-four years ago two human beings changed history by walking on the surface of the moon.  But what happened before Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong exited the Lunar Module is perhaps even more amazing, if only because so few people know about it. "I 'm talking about the fact that Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon. Some months after his return, he wrote about it in Guideposts magazine.
 
And a few years ago I had the privilege of meeting him myself.  I asked him about it and he confirmed the story to me, and I wrote about in my book, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask).
 
The background to the story is that Aldrin was an elder at his Presbyterian Church in Texas during this period in his life, and knowing that he would soon be doing something unprecedented in human history, he felt he should mark the occasion somehow, and he asked his minister to help him. And so the minister consecrated a communion wafer and a small vial of communion wine. And Buzz Aldrin took them with him out of the Earth's orbit and on to the surface of the moon.
 
He and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement: "This is the LM 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." He then ended radio communication and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home, he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion.
 
Here is his own account of what happened: "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. Apart from me you can do nothing.'
 
"I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute [they] had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O'Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly.
 
"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." And of course, it's interesting to think that some of the first words spoken on the moon were the words of Jesus Christ, who made the Earth and the moon - and Who, in the immortal words of Dante, is Himself the "Love that moves the Sun and other stars."
 
How many of you knew this? Too bad this type news doesn't travel as fast as the bad does.

9 comments:

CharlieE said...

How many of you knew this? Too bad this type news doesn't travel as fast as the bad does.

Does this really qualify as "news"? What's newsworthy about it?

Anonymous said...

Who, seriously, doesn't know this? It was in Life in 1970, so we've known about it for a while.
Next on breaking news, did you know JFK was Catholic?

Anonymous said...

I see they left this out: "Perhaps, if I had it to do over again, I would not choose to celebrate communion. Although it was a deeply meaningful experience for me, it was a Christian sacrament, and we had come to the moon in the name of all mankind — be they Christians, Jews, Muslims, animists, agnostics, or atheists. But at the time I could think of no better way to acknowledge the enormity of the Apollo 11 experience that by giving thanks to God. It was my hope that people would keep the whole event in their minds and see, beyond minor details and technical achievements, a deeper meaning — a challenge, and the human need to explore whatever is above us, below us, or out there."

ferschitz said...

This is ancient history. I knew about it at the time; I believe it was discussed in many news outlets when it happened. Why is this old non-news being announced at this time?

"...news accounts released while the Apollo 11 mission was in progress reported that Aldrin was bringing Communion bread with him to the moon and would be joining Earth-bound parishioners in observing Communion from the lunar surface, as noted in this 20 July 1969 Associated Press dispatch..."
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/glurge/communion.asp#aYAXc3xmWTGDXfPx.99

Duly noted: the usual rightwing trope about how persecuted "Christians" are is thinly veiled in this silly let's-make-a-mountain-out-of-not-even-a-molehill RWF bullshit.

gruaud said...

Bad news should indeed travel fast.

Hooray4US said...

Too bad this type news doesn't travel as fast as the bad does.

If rightwingers weren't paying attention 44 years ago to the space program, who's at fault?

Rhetorical Questions: why can't the RWF just highlight that this space communion event happened - as a "how about that" kind of story? Why does it have to be presented as if somehow this story has been deviously suppressed so that citizens have been prevented from knowing about it?

Anonymous said...

@Hooray4US
I realize it is a rhetorical question but I cannot resist answering, it is the ago old persecuted Christian rhetoric: They just want to worship freely, but there is always some sort of a group that is suppressing them. If only they could worship in public, maybe have buildings they could go to called “Churches” be able to pray wherever and whenever they want, be able to say Merry Christmas without the storm troopers hauling them off to an internment camp, maybe even one day having an openly Christian elected to the office of the President, or maybe 44 of them in a row, without consistently being oppressed by . The victim card by the religious right tends to get old in my opinion.

CharlieE said...

They forgot to add: Read this quickly and pass it on before it gets removed from the Internet.

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