“Earth Rise” by Rev. Jenna Wexler
In 1968, NASA rushed a risky mission in order to beat the Russians in the ‘race to the moon’ and to meet the goal of landing people on the moon by the end of 1969. The Apollo-8 mission used an un-proven engine, computer, and other first-time technologies in sending three astronauts to orbit the moon– including a live telecast on Christmas Eve during which the astronauts read the first chapter of Genesis.
During the outbound trip, the astronauts faced the moon. And then everything changed as the astronauts emerged from the backside of the moon and for the first time ever, we gazed upon Earth from afar.
Touching the Sacred
I share this as a personal witness to that moment when amazing technology, and winning the moon race, was unexpectedly upstaged by a transformational epiphany. It was the moment we were collectively touched by the sacred realization that we, and all life on this planet, are one.
The power of this historic “Earth Rise” image remains encoded deep within me. Even now, merely reflecting on that moment emotionally floods me.
Historically, the Apollo-8 and 11 missions were the capstone of a decade filled with massive social changes: desegregation and race riots, the assassinations of JFK and MLK Jr, ‘women’s liberation’ and a new generation of Americans focused on challenging other taboos and injustices. Yet, it was this image that initiated the understanding we are all connected and on this Earth-journey, together.
Initiations are beginnings; and, sometimes they come before we were ready. Over the past 50 years, as we’ve witnessed the impacts and extent of chronically inhumane choices and actions, we better understand the global call to action of Apollo-8.
This image originally represented a bold new understanding and future. It was the crowning glory of what we achieved—as an entire society focused on a seemingly impossible goal—and by choosing to invest the funding and talent to make it so.
The Star Trek TV series provided a new vision for humanity’s future that beneficially blended technology and humanitarian values of respect and equality amidst diversity.
Yet, after decades of seeing so many photos of Earth from space,we’ve reduced that once sacred Earth Rise to, ‘no big deal’.
We’ve lost any shared vision of a positive future to the predominance of apocalyptic adventure movies and media games that wire us to link personal enjoyment with competition and violence. Now, with oceans choking on plastic and rampant pollution, the climate warming, and as steeped in hatred and injustice as ever — we’ve collectively forgotten our sacred oneness and our power to create good.
Our Earth Rise 2019
As we open 2019, WE ARE CALLED to chose our role in the future of humanity and this planet. We are each vital to fostering greater good for all. Together, we can do this!
What does this look like in every day life? For starters, we stop waiting for a white night to swoop in and do this for us. Instead, lets accept it’s time:
- We dare to weave a bold vision of goodness for all and empower it everyday through spiritual practices, intentions and actions
- We live our new vision into reality by changing our beliefs and actions
- We agree to really listen and converse with each other (without exception)
- We discern rather than judge
- We respectfully collaborate on teams that cross all social/political spectrums
- We remember that every act of love, however small, does make a difference
- We compassionately value all life in creating a world that prospers from greater goodness for all
- AND, we stay dedicated and support each other along the way!
Welcome on board; we’ll unpack what this looks like,together.
Photo Credit: NASA https://images-assets.nasa.gov/image/as08-14-2383/as08-14-2383~small.jpg
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