2 Peter 3:1-13

NASA’s Apollo 8 mission was to take pictures of the surface of the moon in order to find an adequate landing place for future missions.  Yet it is not a picture of the moon, but of the Earth that this mission is remembered for. When the spacecraft emerged from behind the moon for the fourth of its ten planned evolutions, crew member William Anders grabbed a Hasselblad camera with 70-millimeter color film. He snapped the photo known as Earthrise, capturing the entirety of our planet in a single frame from the most extraordinary angle humans had ever seen. Earthrise, taken on Christmas Eve of 1968, is probably one of the most famous and influential photographs ever taken. 

A few hours later the crew beamed footage down to earth through a television signal. People all over the world sat spellbound as the crew read from the creation story in Genesis 1. The next morning, the New York Times published a reflection by writer and poet Archibald MacLeish to help put this world-altering moment in proper context. He wrote:

To see the earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now they are truly brothers.

Generations earlier, the writer of 1 Peter makes a similar argument in response to questions of how long it will be before God finally makes things right in the world. We must see life, the world, and each other as God sees us, which is from an almost unfathomably wider lens, and, most importantly, a much gentler angle.


How might we imagine this “view from above,” and how would it change our approach to this day?


God, help me see the world as you do, with love, tenderness, and purpose.

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