“Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Those were the first words of Neil Armstrong after he and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin first touched down on the surface of the moon. Today marks half a century since Apollo 11 landed on that magnificent desolation of a landscape. Before the “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” uttered there was a time of reflection. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin had wanted a way to celebrate this historic event. Buzz, an elder at Webster Presbyterian Church in Webster, Texas, had spoken to his pastor in the days leading up to the launch. Buzz decided to take communion to the surface of the moon. In 1970 he shared it with Guideposts. Below is the text from that article:
In a little while after our scheduled meal period, Neil would give the signal to step down the ladder onto the powdery surface of the moon. Now was the moment for communion.Guideposts 1970
So I unstowed the elements in their flight packets. I put them and the scripture reading on the little table in front of the abort guidance system computer.
Then I called back to Houston.
“Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM Pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to invite each person listening, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way.”
In the radio blackout I opened the little plastic packages which contained bread and wine.
I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.
Leading up to taking the Lord’s table he took out a hand written piece of paper with John 15:5 written on it: “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”
Half a century ago on body of another world. A place where no other human had ever landed, the first church service took place. So even if you are 238,855 miles from earth, God is still there. There is no place on earth or in space that you can go where God is not present.