Pastor's Perspective 

Dear Church Family,

50 years.  That is how long it has been since Neil Armstrong planted his foot firmly on the moon.  Humanity just celebrated the event and as I watched some of the coverage, I was struck by the common theme.  While Armstrong was the first man to put his foot on the moon, he wasn’t alone.  He took the whole world with him.  I saw one picture of a young lady holding a hand stenciled sign that read, “We did it!”  She had a huge smile on her face that looked as if SHE was the one who had stepped on the moon.

There aren’t many events in life that have drawn all humanity together the way that one event did.  Perhaps Armstrong’s words summed it up best, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Armstrong understood that he was taking a leap that included all humanity. 

What might be most striking about that statement, however, is that we were smack dab in the middle of a cold war with the Soviet Union.  We had already been through the Cuban missile crisis and were in the middle of communist advancements in Vietnam.  The enormity of the event, however, had the power to draw the entire world to the radio and television to witness an absolutely astounding event.  “We did it!”

I have some good news.  Jesus and the apostles call us to the exact same sort of solidarity.  In fact, one of the most common ways to explain our relationships to Jesus in the New Testament is to say that we are “in Christ.”  In a very real way, when Jesus died on the cross, we died there with him.  When he was buried, we were buried.  When he was raised, we were raised.  The Bible is clear that what commends us to God is not our works, but Jesus’ good works.  Jesus represents you and every other follower he has before the father.  The solidarity we all felt with Armstrong is the same solidarity you should cultivate in your relationship with Jesus.  The difference?  He didn’t step onto the moon, he died on the cross.

Pastor Sam Smith