Thursday, December 24, 2009


On December 24, 1968, the photo here was taken by Astronaut Bill Anders as he and the crew of Apollo 8 orbited the moon.

I have heard him describe the earth as a fragile Christmas ornament – an insignificant planet on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy.

When I see the photo, I see that, plus a planet that is just far enough away from the sun so the water doesn’t boil away; just close enough to the sun that it’s not a frozen waste land; just enough atmosphere to protect the earth’s surface from the sun’s radiation, and to contain just enough gases of just the right proportion to support life.

When I see the photo, I see the Hand of God at work – still.

And I see more clearly our responsibility to take better care of our home.

Charles Dickens ended The Christmas Carol with this description of Scrooge: “[I]t was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.”

May we all “keep Christmas well.”