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Love That Moves the Sun and Other Stars

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Astronaut on the moon
Communion on the Moon

1 Cor. 11:23-26

For I received from the LORD what I also passed on to you: The LORD Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, "This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me." 25In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me." 26For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the LORD's death until he comes.

The last sentence in Dante’s Paradiso says: “But by now my desire and will were turned, like a balanced wheel rotated evenly, by the love that moves the sun and the other stars.” Dante is stating that love is a fundamental and universal moral principle, the golden rule honored by all traditions and all peoples.

Genesis 1:1 says that “God created the heavens and the earth.” Colossians 1:16 adds that God created “all things” through Jesus Christ.

The Bond of Love that Christ has for believers is firmly stated in scripture, the same love (and power) that moves the sun and stars.

July 20th 2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the Moon.

I vaguely remember as a 13 year old on July 20, 1969 watching, with my family, in a home in Pasadena, Texas, Apollo11 landing on the Moon. Most of us however were unaware that Buzz Aldrin, a Presbyterian elder became the first person to hold a religious ceremony on the Moon when he privately took communion.

Aldrin and Armstrong had only been on the lunar surface for a few minutes when Aldrin made the following public statement: “This is the LM pilot. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask every person listening in, whoever and wherever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.” Radio communication stopped and there, on the silent surface of the moon, 250,000 miles from home, he read a verse from the Gospel of John, and he took communion.

The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament. But what is a sacrament? It is a holy ordinance instituted by Christ in his church, to signify, seal, and exhibit unto those that are within the covenant of grace, the benefits of his mediation; to strengthen and increase their faith, and all other graces; to oblige them to obedience; to testify and cherish their love and communion one with another; and to distinguish them from those that are without. (WLC 162)

The Lord’s Supper makes available the benefits of Christ in the sense that those benefits are made available to all believers. This does not mean that the bread and wine have some kind of supernatural power. The reality of Christ’s work in our lives depends on the work of the Holy Spirit and the promise of God in the words of institution.

Augustine and John Calvin explained, the Lord’s Supper is a “bond of love” among believers. All Christians then are united to Christ as their one Head and to one another in the body of Christ. This understanding of our union with Christ and our communion with each other results in mutual love and fellowship, all to the glory of Christ.

The Lord’s Supper is one of the most precious gifts Christ has given to his church. Let’s eat it together.


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