Lenten Meditation by Felicia Roper
During high school and college, I was part of a group called the Summer Savoyards. “Savoyards” are performers and fans of Gilbert and Sullivan, whose operettas were first performed at the Savoy Theatre in London from 1871 until 1896. Both funny and singable, their works like “The Mikado”, “H.M.S. Pinafore”, and “The Pirates of Penzance” are still performed today in the U.K. and other English-speaking countries.
In my home town, local high school and college students gathered to perform a G&S opera every summer. We’d rehearse four nights a week and all day Saturday to perform in mid-August. Our lives revolved around rehearsals, the friends we made during those weeks together, and the fun we had both singing and partying afterward.
But for me, one particular night stands out. In 1969, the group rehearsed at the church I grew up in, and gathering there with my friends to sing music I loved made my sense of community even stronger than before. It was a Monday night; half-way through rehearsal we took a break. A couple of the guys went into the next room, then came running back saying we had to come and see what was on television. So the whole group piled into the small classroom next door.
On the screen we saw live pictures of the moon, with the Apollo landing craft on its surface. We heard the astronauts talking to Mission Control, and then came the magic moment when Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder, set foot on the moon’s surface, and uttered his famous words:
One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Suddenly the moon was real in a way none of us had ever imagined. And at that moment, my world expanded infinitely, moving beyond my home town to the universe. I knew for the first time how much more there was to learn about our world and all the incredible things that we were a part of. And for the first time, I wondered what views of the universe could be seen from Heaven.
During the season of Lent, daily meditations from members of the Pullen community are being posted online. Subscribe by email at www.pullen.org/category/meditation.