During the recent holidays I was blessed to be able to take my family on a road trip to the Central West of NSW. I had visited the area as a child while my father was in the Army, but it was a new experience for Jen and the boys. One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Radio Telescope near Parkes, colloquially known as ‘The Dish.’
We visited ‘The Dish’ just before the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing (not something we had planned), so there was a lot of information and memorabilia about the moon landing, and the part played by the Parkes and Honeysuckle Creek telescopes in providing the pictures of the moon landing.
Further investigation around articles on the moon landing showed some surprising occurances. The first meal on the moon was Buzz Aldrin giving himself Holy Communion, a remembrance meal where Christians believe they receive Christ’s Body and Blood in bread and wine. Another article focussed on the astronauts having a ‘faith moment’ as they viewed their own home planet rising from behind the moon and being able to hold their hand up and block it from view. As they started to realise how tenuous a grip each of them (and the earthlings below) had on life, they experienced anew the awe and wonder at the majesty of the world, and also saw a Creator behind it all.
Another great thing about being in the Central West of NSW was the wide open plains, with varied vegetation around, different to what we experience here in the Limestone Coast. We certainly live in a land of contrasts. In moments like these I also experience some of that wonder and awe, and join in the Psalmist when he wrote, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?…O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Psalm 8:3-4, 9)
As I consider the rest of Psalm 8, where we are reminded of the god-given task of caring and being good stewards over God’s creation, it is great to see some of the Enviromental initiatives being incorporated into our practices at SMLC. It isn’t always easy choosing to be conscious of our responsibilities, but it is important, as we consider our place in this world.