Merry Christmas Memory

Forty years ago today, the Apollo 8 astronauts were the first humans to ever see earthrise.  A few orbits later, William Anders, Jim Lovell and Frank Borman were moved to recite the opening passages of Genesis from the King James Bible.

They were invoking old words in a new place.  We've come so far in our understanding of our world, our place in our world, and our world's place in the cosmos since that poetry was first recited around a campfire.  Humanity's representatives, 40 years ago, were displaying the grand spirit of our forebears instead of a narrow, literal interpretation of their view of the world.  Here's what they said:
William Anders 
"We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back
on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send
to you.

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Jim Lovell 
"And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the
firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Frank Borman 
"And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a
Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good

Even a crusty old atheist like me gets misty-eyed at the memory.

Merry Christmas to all.

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