There has been lots of attention over the last few days of the 50th anniversary of the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin formed the crew that landed the Lunar Module on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. They spent 21 hours and 31 minutes in the Sea of Tranquility before returning to orbit to join the command module pilot Michael Collins for the return trip home.
This was the first-time people stood on a celestial body other than the earth. The Apollo missions showed what human beings could accomplish. It also pointed us to something larger than ourselves.
Michael Collins, the pilot of the command module, took pictures looking back at the earth as it began to rise above the horizon of the moon. Reflecting on what he saw, he later said, “Looking at the earth, it was peaceful and calm and quiet and serene. And, how fragile it appeared. Oddly enough, that was the overriding sensation I got looking at the earth. My God, the earth was so fragile out there.”
Seeing the world from a new perspective brings with it the recognition that we share a common planet. It points us to a creator that is far more powerful and vast than we can conceive. It also shows us that the earth is fragile.
O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed
Then sings my soul, my savior God to thee;
How great thou art, how great thou art!