"Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." II Peter 1:1-2
It was rather ironic yesterday that American Hero, Neil Armstrong, was laid to rest in Ohio on a day when there was a "blue moon".
People my age or older remember being transfixed in front of black and white TV screens on July 20, 1969 watching a grainy image of Neil Armstrong stepping off the botton rung of the ladder from the LEM (lunar excursion module) and planted his space boot firmly on the surface of our moon!
Those of us who witnessed it have those pictures permanently emblazoned in our minds!
During the week I did some reading on this humble mid-western hero. I found several interesting details, but the one that impressed me that most was the fact that neither NASA or the astronauts or President Nixon were very optimistic about Neil and his co-pilot, Gene Cernan, making it back from the surface of the Moon.
According to what I learned, NASA had a statement all prepared to share with the American public were the worst to happen. President Nixon's top speech-writer had crafted a brief script for the President to inform and comfort the American people if Armstrong and Cernan should be permanently stranded on our Moon.
Such a bold as theirs would be risky today even with our 21st century technology. You can probably imagine how dangerous it was with 1960's equipment! There was great concern among the peoptole at Mission Control and with the astronauts about whether the engine on the LEM would fire when it came time to launch from the surface of the Moon and link up with the orbiter that would bring them back to earth. That engine had to fire on the first try or it wouldn't work. While they had test-fired it 250 on earth they were not sure how it would function in the lunar atmosphere.
When these courageous astronauts launched from the earth, they were fully aware of the very real possibility they would never return! They risked their lives because they were convinced that space exploration was essential to the scientific growth of their beloved nation, The United States of America!
Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan loved their mission more than they loved their own lives! They were totally committed to going to the Moon and exploring the Moon even if it meant they never would return from the Moon!
In II Peter 1, Peter is reminding us that we have some very precious gifts available to us through faith in Christ. But we must serve Him and grow in our knowledge of Him in order to receive and enjoy those gifts.In short, we will need to love Him more than life!
Let me ask you, "Do you love Jesus more than life?" "Are you willing to get know Him better even if it costs you everything?" "Will you be willing to surrender everything for the joy of knowing God?"
If you will, I promise it will be out of thsi world!