EARTHRISE As   Apollo   8   orbited   the   moon   on   December   24,   1968,   one   of   its   occupants,   U.S.   astronaut   William   Anders, was   captivated   by   the   beauty   of   the   earth   as   it   rose   over   the   moon.      He   quickly   called   for   color   film   to   photograph the   scene.      The   result   was   one   of   the   most   stunning   and   iconic   pictures   ever   taken.      In   the   foreground,   is   the brown,   barren   surface   of   the   moon.      In   the   background,   almost   240,000   miles   in   the   distance,   is   the   lustrous   orb of   the   Earth.      Before   signing   off   from   their   transmissions   that   day,   the   three   crew   members   took   turns   with   a   very moving   reading   of   the   first   ten   verses   of   Genesis   chapter   one,   ending   with   the   greeting,   “…   God   bless   all   of   you,   all of you on the good Earth.” “Earthrise,”   as   the   famous   photograph   came   to   be   known,   brings   different   thoughts   to   the   minds   of   its viewers.      Perhaps   the   most   prominent   impression   it   has   created   is   that   of   the   fragility   of   the   Earth   and,   therefore, of   humankind’s   need   to   take   care   of   it.      Thus,   “Earthrise”   has   been   called   “the   most   influential   environmental photograph   ever   taken,”   and   another   said   that   it   was   “the   beginning   of   the   environmental   movement.”      Exactly fifty   years   to   the   day   after   taking   the   photograph,   William   Anders   himself   said,   “We   set   out   to   explore   the   moon and instead discovered the Earth.” However,   the   impression   which   is   common   to   all   who   view   the   photograph   is   that   of   the   uniqueness   of Earth.      This   is   seen   in   the   stark   contrast   between   it   and   the   moon.      In   the   photograph,   the   dead   and   dusty   surface of   the   moon,   utterly   devoid   of   any   sign   of   life,   fills   the   foreground.      Nothing   interrupts   the   black   background   of infinite   space   behind   the   moon,   except   the   cheering   image   of   the   shining   Earth,   its   radiant   blue,   white,   and   green colors   suggestive   of   the   life   which   teems   on   it.      The   viewer   can   hardly   help   but   be   struck   by   the   drastic   difference between   the   two   bodies.      The   Earth   lies   alone,   in   all   its   living   glory   and   beauty,   in   the   dark,   deep   ocean   of   empty space.      This   not   only   suggests   the   distinctiveness   of   the   Earth   as   the   only   place   in   the   universe   known   to   support life but also raises the question, “Why is that so?” The   answer   lies   in   Genesis   chapter   one,   from   which   the   astronauts   themselves   read   as   they   circled   the moon   that   same   day.      God   left   His   own   indelible   impression   on   the   universe   for   all   humankind   to   see   ---   one represented   in   this   famous   photograph   ---   by   making   for   them   a   home   which   only   He   could   make.      No,   God   did not   create   the   Earth   so   humans   could   take   care   of   it;   rather,   God   created   the   Earth   to   take   care   of   humans.     Whether   humans   take   care   of   Earth   or   not,   life   on   it   will   end,   but   life   on   Earth   is   no   end   in   itself.      Earth   will   not   be humanity’s   home   forever.      It   is   but   a   “home   away   from   home.”      It   is   their   home   only   until   life   ends   for   each   of   them and   God   brings   those   who   love   Him   to   their   real   and   eternal   home   in   heaven.      Jesus   said,   “And   if   I   go   to   prepare   a place   for   you,   I   will   come   again,   and   receive   you   to   Myself;   that   where   I   am,    there    you   may   be   also”   (Jn.   14:2,3).     God   prepared   the   first   home   for   people,   and   they   should   live   in   it   so   as   to   live   in   the   next.      This   is   the   true message of “Earthrise.”
Acts 17:26-28 (NASB)  And He made from one man, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”
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 “And He made from one man, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children’” (Acts 17:26-28).
EARTHRISE As   Apollo   8   orbited   the   moon   on   December   24,   1968,   one   of   its   occupants,   U.S. astronaut   William   Anders,   was   captivated   by   the   beauty   of   the   earth   as   it   rose   over   the moon.      He   quickly   called   for   color   film   to   photograph   the   scene.      The   result   was   one   of   the most   stunning   and   iconic   pictures   ever   taken.      In   the   foreground,   is   the   brown,   barren surface   of   the   moon.      In   the   background,   almost   240,000   miles   in   the   distance,   is   the lustrous   orb   of   the   Earth.      Before   signing   off   from   their   transmissions   that   day,   the   three crew   members   took   turns   with   a   very   moving   reading   of   the   first   ten   verses   of   Genesis chapter one, ending with the greeting, “… God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.” “Earthrise,”    as    the    famous    photograph    came    to    be    known,    brings    different thoughts   to   the   minds   of   its   viewers.      Perhaps   the   most   prominent   impression   it   has   created is   that   of   the   fragility   of   the   Earth   and,   therefore,   of   humankind’s   need   to   take   care   of   it.     Thus,   “Earthrise”   has   been   called   “the   most   influential   environmental   photograph   ever taken,”   and   another   said   that   it   was   “the   beginning   of   the   environmental   movement.”     Exactly   fifty   years   to   the   day   after   taking   the   photograph,   William   Anders   himself   said,   “We set out to explore the moon and instead discovered the Earth.” However,   the   impression   which   is   common   to   all   who   view   the   photograph   is   that of   the   uniqueness   of   Earth.      This   is   seen   in   the   stark   contrast   between   it   and   the   moon.      In the   photograph,   the   dead   and   dusty   surface   of   the   moon,   utterly   devoid   of   any   sign   of   life, fills   the   foreground.      Nothing   interrupts   the   black   background   of   infinite   space   behind   the moon,   except   the   cheering   image   of   the   shining   Earth,   its   radiant   blue,   white,   and   green colors   suggestive   of   the   life   which   teems   on   it.      The   viewer   can   hardly   help   but   be   struck   by the   drastic   difference   between   the   two   bodies.      The   Earth   lies   alone,   in   all   its   living   glory and    beauty,    in    the    dark,    deep    ocean    of    empty    space.        This    not    only    suggests    the distinctiveness   of   the   Earth   as   the   only   place   in   the   universe   known   to   support   life   but   also raises the question, “Why is that so?” The   answer   lies   in   Genesis   chapter   one,   from   which   the   astronauts   themselves read   as   they   circled   the   moon   that   same   day.      God   left   His   own   indelible   impression   on   the universe   for   all   humankind   to   see   ---   one   represented   in   this   famous   photograph   ---   by making   for   them   a   home   which   only   He   could   make.      No,   God   did   not   create   the   Earth   so humans   could   take   care   of   it;   rather,   God   created   the   Earth   to   take   care   of   humans.     Whether   humans   take   care   of   Earth   or   not,   life   on   it   will   end,   but   life   on   Earth   is   no   end   in itself.      Earth   will   not   be   humanity’s   home   forever.      It   is   but   a   “home   away   from   home.”      It   is their   home   only   until   life   ends   for   each   of   them   and   God   brings   those   who   love   Him   to   their real   and   eternal   home   in   heaven.      Jesus   said,   “And   if   I   go   to   prepare   a   place   for   you,   I   will come   again,   and   receive   you   to   Myself;   that   where   I   am,    there    you   may   be   also”   (Jn.   14:2,3).     God   prepared   the   first   home   for   people,   and   they   should   live   in   it   so   as   to   live   in   the   next.     This is the true message of “Earthrise.”
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