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Communion that's out of this world!

Updated: Feb 8, 2018

Jesus told his disciples in the Upper Room to celebrate the Lord's Supper as often as they could in remembrance of the sacrifice he would make (and did make) on the cross at Calvary. So, today, we in the church partake of the Lord's Supper--or Communion--at various frequencies based on denominational traditions and congregational preference. Though the sacred event of communion is supposed to reveal Christ's love and grace to those who participate in it, many in the church often treat it as an obligatory rite and simply "go through the motions." To many who take communion, it is nothing more than a 5-10 minute liturgy with little or no real meaning.

However, on July 20, 1969, there was a celebration of communion that proved to be one of the most extraordinary of all time, only surpassed by the original celebration itself. And where do you suppose it happened? It wasn't at the Vatican, it wasn't in Jerusalem, it wasn't at Notre Dame or Westminster Abbey or any such place. In fact, it wasn't even on planet Earth! This particular communion service happened about 240,000 miles away at a place called Tranquility Base. Yes, it happened on the moon during the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Buzz Aldrin, as you may or may not know, is a devout Presbyterian Christian. Realizing the historical significance of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the world stage he would have as one of the first two men to walk on the moon, he elected to use his prescribed airtime soon after the landing to make a proclamation of faith through a celebration of Holy Communion. This was quite a bold step! Most people would have prepared a speech or a poem or would have read from an historical book. Indeed, most, even in 1969, would not have dared to step out on faith. But Buzz was different.

Unfortunately, because of political correctness and fear of offending others, the communion service was not broadcast to the world as Buzz was promised. He didn't know until some time after that no one saw he and Neil Armstrong take communion together in a desolate valley so many miles from home. But I love this story anyway because it shows me what bold faith truly is. It is taking a stand for what you believe, no matter the consequences. It is breaking from the norm and doing what you are convicted to do. And it is being true to who you are. You might say that true faith is about being an "out of this world" person--someone who doesn't simply conform to the world's standards. Way to go, Buzz! You are an inspiration to us all!!!

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