Monday, July 27, 2009

Without Jesus

I already posted on this subject but I made a different take for yesterday's communion service. I'll provide the text below, but first I want to thank everyone for their encouragement. I probably received more feedback from this three-minute talk than any others I had done before. One person, who has been faithful for roughly 20 years, commented that this was probably in the top three communion reflections she'd ever heard. Wow. That's God, not me. I just come up with the context, the Holy Spirit does the rest. Anyway, here you go...

Last week celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing. Trivia question for the space buffs out there… What was the first food eaten on the moon?

Believe it or not, the first food eaten was the bread and wine of communion. Buzz Aldrin took communion with him and celebrated on the moon. If you’re old enough to remember, the Eagle landed on a Sunday.

This is what he said, "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..." Then off-air he gave himself communion and read this from John 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit."

Interesting use of Scripture, John 15:5. For some reason, he doesn’t read the rest of that verse, “apart from me, you can do nothing.” His focus was that even 235,000 miles away, he was still on the vine. But I think the end of that verse is more profound. Here is man, on the moon, who apart from Jesus can do nothing.

Going to the moon was in some ways a Tower of Babel moment. The whole world was watching and we did, literally, reach into the heavens. But unlike those in the story in Genesis, Buzz knew who deserved credit. His communion service wasn’t broadcast because NASA was afraid of a lawsuit. They were already in hot water because the Apollo 8 crew read the creation account from Genesis while orbiting the moon the Christmas before. Point is, it’s hard to not appreciate God’s creation when seeing it from a perspective never seen before. Apart from Jesus, they could do
nothing.

Think about that. Apart from Jesus, you can do nothing. These men went to the moon. What dreams do you have? For your own life, your career, your family, your children? Your church, your neighbors, the lost? Apart from Jesus, you can do
nothing.

No dream is too big for God. Psalm 105 reads, “Praise the Lord, oh my soul; all my inmost being, praise his name.” And then in verse 5, “who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

But apart from Jesus, you can do nothing.

This is how Buzz described taking communion, "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... 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."

On the moon. Amazing.

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