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Communion on the Moon

What was the first liquid and food consumed on the moon?

I presume that most of us were unaware of this story.  I didn’t know this, but it’s awesome!
43 years ago…guess what happened… many have not heard of this before . . .
Communion on the Moon: July 20, 1969   (This is an article by Eric Metaxas )
Forty-three 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.”

The Dented Bucket

Our house stood across the street from the clinic entrance of John Hopkins  Hospital in  Baltimore . We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out-patients at the clinic.

One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man. “Why, he’s hardly taller than my 8-year-old,” I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. The appalling thing was his face, lopsided from swelling, red and raw.

Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, “Good evening. I’ve come to see if you’ve a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there’s no bus ’til morning.”

He told me he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. “I guess it’s my face …. I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments ..”

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: “I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning.”

I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch.. I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us. “No, thank you I have plenty.” And he held up a brown paper bag.

When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. It didn’t take a long time to see that this old man had an over sized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her 5 children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn’t tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was preface with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going…

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children’s room for him. When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch.

He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, “Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won’t put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair.” He paused a moment and then added, “Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don’t seem to mind.”

I told him he was welcome to come again.

And, on his next trip, he arrived a little after 7 in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen! He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they’d be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. And I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us.

In the years he came to stay overnight with us, there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden.

Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed. Knowing that he must walk 3 miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious.

When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning.

“Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!”

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But, oh!, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.

I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend, who has a greenhouse, as she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, “If this were my plant, I’d put it in the loveliest container I had!”

My friend changed my mind. “I ran short of pots,” she explained, “and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting out in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden.”

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven.

“Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman. “He won’t mind starting in this small body.”

All this happened long ago – and now, in God’s garden, how tall this lovely soul must stand.

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7b)


God’s Rose

A new minister was walking with an older,
more seasoned minister in the garden one  day.

Feeling a bit insecure about  what God had for him to do,
he was asking the older preacher for some  advice.

The older  preacher walked up to a rosebush
and handed the young preacher a rosebud  and told him
to open it without tearing off any petals.

The young preacher looked in disbelief
at the older preacher and was trying to figure out
what a rosebud could possibly have to do
with his wanting to know the will of God
for his life and ministry.

But because of his great respect for the older preacher,
he proceeded to try to unfold the rose,
while keeping every petal intact.

It wasn’t long before he realized
how impossible this was to do.

Noticing the younger preacher’s inability
to unfold the rosebud without tearing it,
the older preacher began to recite
the following poem…

“It is only a tiny rosebud, 
A flower of God’s design; 
But I cannot unfold the petals 
With these clumsy hands of mine.” 

“The secret of unfolding flowers 
Is not known to such as I. 
GOD opens this flower so easily, 
But in my hands they die.” 

“If I cannot unfold a rosebud, 
This flower of God’s design, 
Then how can I have the wisdom 
To unfold this life of mine?” 

“So I’ll trust in God for leading 
Each moment of my day. 
I will look to God for guidance 
In each step of the way.” 

“The path that lies before me, 
Only my Lord knows. 
I’ll trust God to unfold the moments, 
Just as He unfolds the rose.”