Genesis 1:1 (New International Version)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
On Christmas Eve, 1968, during the Apollo-8 mission, Astronauts Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, Jr., and William A. Anders, beamed home this holiday message as they orbited the moon (appoximately 240,000 miles above the earth).
“For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you”.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”
“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”
“And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”
Borman then added, “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth.”
It was an astonishing moment in history.
Less than a year later, on the historic Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin took communion on the lunar surface shortly after landing. He kept his actions secret for many years, but it was also an amazing event. It was the first time that a Christian had ever taken communion on the surface of another world.
Every Christmas, the wonder of what God did way back 2000 years ago, always hits me on Christmas Eve. In all of the billions of galaxies that this universe contains, why did He choose this one? Amongst the zillions of stars, why did He choose ours? And amongst the planets, why did He choose ours upon which to bestow life?
And then, amongst all of the great empires, kingdom, and nations on earth, why did God choose one of its smallest ones, Judea, to bring His Son into the world. And out of all of the cities and towns of that small kingdom, why was little insignificant Bethlehem chosen as the birthplace of the Messiah? And why not in the house of a rich, powerful, and successful person? Why does God allow His Son to be born and laid to rest in the feeding trough of a stable?
Because that’s how God, great and almighty, omnipotent and eternal, works.
God does what He wills, in ways and for reasons that remain a mystery to us. He makes promises and keeps them, so that we will benefit from His goodness, mercy, and grace.
Dear Lord we thank You for coming to Earth to bring Salvation to all that believe. May we always share that with others not only at Christmas time but throughout the year. In Jesus’ name, Amen