From David our Moderator

This year and this month is the fiftieth anniversary of the first manned moon landing. 

On the 16th July 1969 Apollo 11 launched and four days later on the 20th July 1969 The tiny moon lander grounded safely on the dusty barren surface of the moon.

That amazing event changed so much of our perception of the world, from the extraordinary pictures of the earth from the moon, to Neil Armstrong’s famous words:

 “The Eagle has landed. That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind”.

When I think of those things I am reminded of a verse in the ancient book of Job, written long before people realised that the earth was a spinning ball in the vacuum of space.

Job 26.7 He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; He suspends the earth over nothing.

Even today fifty years on it seems incredible that such a tiny fragile vessel could travel nearly a quarter of a million miles through the harsh environment of empty space carrying those early astronauts.

I suspect that in those early days, many people imagined that those first lunar landings would pave the way for many other people to travel to the moon but to this day they have never been repeated, and I am fairly certain that I will never have the chance to stand on the surface of the moon, although one of the other famous parts of that story is that Buzz Aldrin took with him a small communion set from his local church. Buzz Aldrin’s church held a communion service as he took that bread and wine so he became the first man to share communion on the moon. So in that sense all God’s people had a share in his triumph.

All of those things remind me of that other extraordinary journey, when the eternal one came from the far reaches of heaven in the tiny fragile vessel of a human body, to share Gods love with all humanity. That also was a perilous voyage, and unlike Apollo 11, It ended up with the broken body of Jesus hanging on the cross on a Hill outside Jerusalem.

However, in that case we all were included in His triumph and the voyage did pave the way for others to safely make the journey into the presence of God.

Thinking again of the events of those few days in 1969, I am reminded of those words of Jesus that are even more famous than the words of Neil Armstrong:

John 3.16.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

May God bless you

Yours in His service