Updated: Jul 27, 2020
In my years of experience as a Christian I have seen God show up in many ways, sometimes (mostly) unexpectedly. He can show up during a prayer, a song at church, a night of conversation with friends, or through random acts of kindness. He is not limited to any aspect of life, so he can show up as he pleases.
However, sometimes, he chooses the most interesting ways to show up. And the story below is proof that God has a sense of humor. Why? Let's just say it involves an international broadcast from space on Christmas Eve 1968.
To set the stage, The few days leading up to the broadcast were an absolute adventure for Americans, and quite frankly, all the citizens of Earth. The United States and N.A.S.A. were busy sending Apollo 8 into space to circumnavigate the moon. Americans were feeling excited, nervous, and adventurous. Once Apollo 8 started its trek around the moon, many people from around the world were tuned into the broadcast, showing some of the first up close images of the moon, along with some video and commentary of our home, Earth.
Being inspired by the beauty of it, and the accomplishments and exploration of man, the crew of Apollo 8 were overjoyed and inspired by their trip. They decided to share this celebration with the world. Maybe it was the Christmas Spirit, maybe it was a coincidence, or maybe God planned for this all along but what happened next became some of the most famous moments in Broadcast TV history, and at that point, the most watched broadcast in the History of the World.
The crew read the creation story from Genesis 1-10.
Attached below is the transcript of their broadcast.
"We are now approaching lunar sunrise, and for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.....
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good...."
"And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth."
This moment was profound. The broadcast reached many people across the Earth, into many regions where Christianity was Illegal to practice, where believers could be punished for carrying a Bible, or even celebrating Christmas. On top of this, some of the crew were believers, while others were non-religious . Some of the men said they read the scripture to celebrate Mans new beginning, while some of the men did not even believe the Gospel message they were proclaiming. None the less, God used them as a mouthpiece to spread his message of creation at the moment men were leaving it, and stirred their hearts to share one of the most foundational parts of the Gospel message, Creation.
So next time we think about how God is going to use certain situations to advance the kingdom, make sure you are looking in some of the most ironic, unexpected, and profound places. Be ready to hear, proclaim, and believe his message whenever you hear it! And when it is your turn to see God show up, he wont let you down!
To any readers who are struggling with their faith and need to experience God in tangible ways, just remember to ask! He will show up, sometimes maybe in ways we don't expect or want initially, but he will show up! Invite him into your life, your
circumstance, or your problem, and he will give you clear guidance through the Holy Spirit on what needs to be done! He has a hope and future for you, and I pray that this message finds you well!