Communion on the Moon

26 12 2011

From Eric Metaxas’ blog.  Go pay him a visit here

Below is an excerpt from a wonderful little interview that Metaxas conducted with Buzz Aldrin.  Be sure to click through and read the whole thing:

“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.”

Read the rest here





Spurgeon: On Evolution and Election

20 12 2011

Spurgeon, while not educated in the classical sense, was no doubt an educated and well read man. His library at the time of his death contained hundreds of thousands of well worn volumes. So, I read the sermon below in the context of certain theories put forward by Charles Darwin twenty years before this sermon was preached. I also assume that Spurgeon understood said theories and understood their implications. What I want to draw the reader’s attention to is Spurgeon’s literal reading of Genesis while at the same time accepting the discoveries of science in his day. The point here being, that the great men of the church have never feared scientific discovery because they could not conceive that good science would ever contradict the word. Would only the contemporary conservative church follow Spurgeon’s example

Years ago we thought the beginning of this world was when Adam came upon it; but we have discovered that thousands of years before that God was preparing chaotic matter to make it a fit abode for man, putting races of creatures upon it, who might die and leave behind the marks of his handiwork and marvellous skill, before he tried his hand on man. But that was not the beginning, for revelation points us to a period long ere this world was fashioned, to the days when the morning stars were begotten; when, like drops of dew, from the fingers of the morning, stars and constellations fell trickling from the hand of God; when, by his own lips, he launched forth ponderous orbs; when with his own hand he sent comets, like thunderbolts, wandering through the sky, to find one day their proper sphere. We go back to years gone by, when worlds were made and systems fashioned, but we have not even approached the beginning yet. Until we go to the time when all the universe slept in the mind of God as yet unborn, until we enter the eternity where God the Creator lived alone, everything sleeping within him, all creation resting in his mighty gigantic thought, we have not guessed the beginning. We may go back, back, back, ages upon ages. We may go back, if we might use such strange words, whole eternities, and yet never arrive at the beginning. Our wing might be tired, our imagination would die away; could it outstrip the lightnings flashing in majesty, power, and rapidity, it would soon weary itself ere it could get to the beginning. But God from the beginning chose his people; when the unnavigated ether was yet unfanned by the wing of a single angel, when space was shoreless, or else unborn when universal silence reigned, and not a voice or whisper shocked the solemnity of silence; when there was no being and no motion, no time, and nought but God himself, alone in his eternity; when without the song of an angel, without the attendance of even the cherubim, long ere the living creatures were born, or the wheels of the chariot of Jehovah were fashioned, even then, “in the beginning was the Word,” and in the beginning God’s people were one with the Word, and “in the beginning he chose them into eternal life.” Our election then is eternal.

read the sermon here





Martin Luther: Through His Suffering, All of Creation is Radically Altered

19 12 2011

By virtue of the person, this suffering is extremely, indescribably great. For one drop of Christ’s blood is incomparably greater than heaven and earth. There is a great difference between the killing of a king and the killing of a peasant. The greatness of the person makes the wrong committed against him all the greater. But we shall skip this now, and only state that his suffering must be highly esteemed because of its fruit and benefit, namely that through this suffering all creation is radically altered and all things made new, heaven too. This is what the words spoken on the cross make plain, words which every Christian should know by heart.

The first word Jesus spoke on the cross was his prayer for his crucifiers, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” These words are indeed brief but very comforting. The Lord may have spoken other words, but only these are recorded and they are written for our consolation.

Now as our dear Lord Jesus Christ is lifted into the air to hang on the cross, suspended between heaven and earth, with nothing any longer on earth to call his own, he is exercising his true, real, priestly office, accomplishing the work he came on earth to do, not only with his suffering, by offering up himself, but also by his intercessions. For both constitute a priest’s work, to sacrifice and to intercede.

The purpose of his suffering and priestly offering is, as he himself states in the Gospel (John 17.19): “For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth.” And John 10: 15: “I lay down my life for my sheep.” There is it stated that his suffering is a suffering for us, not for himself personally. Plainly he affirms in those words that he is a faithful shepherd, priest, and bishop of our souls, who accomplishes his priestly work so that the entire world may become new.

But when he offers himself thus for us, what garment or priestly gard does this priest, Jesus Christ, wear and what is his altar? His adornment is not a gold or silk cloak, decked with pearls or jewels, like the pope’s bishops adorn themselves, nor like the Old Testament high priest who had his special priestly resplendent robes. Instead he hangs on the cross bare and naked, covered with wounds, and has, so to speak, not a thread on his body. Instead of a purple robe he is red with blood, his body covered with wounds and welts, badly swollen. Instead of a priestly headdress he wears a bloodied crown of thorns.

Martin Luther, Fourth Sermon of Holy Week, preached at the parish church on Good Friday, April 2, 1534 taken from Luther’s Church Postil, vol V pg 420.