Advent, Apollo 8, and The Word of God Proclaimed from the Heavens

-During the most watched television broadcast at the time
the astronauts read the first 10 verses of the Bible
during their final orbit around the moon- 

Joe Colletti, PhD
Society of Urban Monks
December 2018 

Nearly 50 years ago, as the season of Advent ended on Christmas Eve 1968, inhabitants of the earth heard the word of God proclaimed from the heavens by the Apollo 8 astronauts during their final lunar orbit. 

You are encouraged to click here and listen to the astronauts read the first 10 verses from the beginning of the Bible (Genesis 1. 1 – 10) and when you are finished you are encouraged to immediately read below the rest of the creation story through the Seventh Day (Genesis 1. 11 – Genesis 2. 1- 3). 

While you are listening to the astronauts and reading the rest of the creation story, may you be reflective about how God called into existence the earth, water, air, night and day, animals and humans and how God ultimately called you into existence. For God said, “I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and deliver you (Isaiah 46. 4).” 

Genesis 1. 11 – Genesis 2. 1 - 3

11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation, seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each bearing fruit with seed according to its kind.” And it was so.

12 The earth produced vegetation, seed-bearing plants according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to distinguish between day and night and to mark the seasons and days and years,

15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth.” And it was so.

16 God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night. And He made the stars as well.

17 God set these lights in the expanse of the sky to shine upon the earth,

18 to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the waters teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the sky.”

21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters teemed according to their kinds, and every bird of flight after its kind. And God saw that it was good.

22 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters of the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.”

23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, land crawlers, and wild animals according to their kinds.” And it was so.

25 God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that crawls upon the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness, to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, and over all the earth itselfand every creature that crawls upon it.”

27 So God created man in His own image;

in the image of God He created him;

male and female He created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.”

29 Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every seed-bearing plant on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit contains seed. They will be yours for food.

30 And to every beast of the earth and every bird of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth—everything that has the breath of life in it—I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 And God looked upon all that He had made, and indeed, it was very good.

And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Chapter 2

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

2 And by the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on that day He rested from all His work.

3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because on that day He rested from all the work of creation that He had accomplished.

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