Season's Greetings From The Moon

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Category: Christmas Tracts MO 2019 Gospel Tracts and Booklets
Author:
David McAllister

Most people like to be at home at Christmas. If they cannot, they make sure they communicate with their loved ones, traditionally by posting a card and by telephoning.

Christmas 2018 marks the fiftieth anniversary of an event that took three people further away from home than anyone had ever been before: the crew of Apollo 8, which took a trip to the moon, from 21st-27th December 1968, orbiting it ten times. During one of those orbits, they became the first human beings to witness an “Earthrise” – a view of the earth rising up over the horizon of the moon, which they gratefully photographed, commenting, “There’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty”! Later that day, Christmas Eve, they broadcast a message back “home” – to earth. They announced (to the biggest T.V. audience there had ever been): “We have a message for you”, and proceeded to read the first ten verses of the Bible, from Genesis chapter 1, starting with the words, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” and finishing, “God saw that it was good.” These men were the first persons ever to get a view of the earth as a whole planet. Their response, in reading these words from the Scriptures, shows that they recognised that the beautiful world that they saw was the good work of the Creator, God. Yet, God’s Word, the Bible, tells us that, sadly, sin has entered this “good” world, and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This is a very serious matter, for we all stand guilty before this holy God, and are subject to His judgment, and the punishment that we deserve: “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). John, viewing the final judgment, recorded that “whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). However, God has a message for all of us; an even greater message than the one from Apollo 8: His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth, lived a sinless life, then went to the cross, where He shed His blood, suffered, and died for us, to rescue us from sin’s penalty. “The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6); “Christ died for our sins … He was buried … He rose again … He was seen” (1Corinthians 15:3,4 & 5). 1968 had been a turbulent and uncertain year, and the successful Apollo 8 mission cheered people up greatly. The “splashdown” in the North Pacific Ocean was publicised worldwide, and the crew was given a heroes’ welcome. One congratulatory telegram read, “Thank you Apollo 8. You saved 1968.” In contrast, when God’s Son arrived on earth, in Bethlehem, very few people knew about it, even though He came, not to “save” a year, but to save the people of the world from their sins. “For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). The Apollo 8 crew closed their “Christmas message” with: “God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth.” God does desire to bless everyone, with the great blessing of forgiveness and salvation. His message comes to you today, not from the moon, but from heaven, calling you to turn away from your sins and trust in the Saviour: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

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