Today is the 48th anniversary of the day this classic shot was taken, and still only three people, the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft that was en route to the Moon, have seen this sight themselves. This is because it’s a classic case of having to be in the right place at the right time under the right conditions, so there’s a narrow window of opportunity and not too many folk who have looked back at the earth from 18,000 miles away!
In Prayer for the Day this morning, Rev Sharon Grenham-Thompson reminded us that this unscheduled photograph “has been described as the perfect picture of our shared home, depicting the Earth’s ‘frailty, vulnerability, and isolation amid the vast expanse of space’”,
She reminds us that “there is no definitive answer as to who actually pressed the shutter. Tragically it was the cause of years of arguments between the crew members – perhaps symbolising our inability as humans simply to share. An inability that could be said to drive most of the difficulties we experience as inhabitants of our beautiful planet to this day.”
And she prayed: “Creator God may be reminded of the fragility and yet impossible beauty of all life; and may we not see our place on this earth as our right, but as our privilege.”
May that be the prayer of all of us.