Something Old, Something New

March 25, 2021
Volume 25, Number 12

Humanity’s first powered flight occurred on December 17, 1903 when Orville Wright launched their crude aircraft, the Wright Flyer I, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first powered flight on another planet will happen within a month, and it will fittingly carry a swatch of fabric used on the Wrights’ inaugural plane.

“Perseverance” is the name of the rover that landed on Mars last month after making the 300 million miles journey through space. On board this rover is “Ingenuity”, a four-pound helicopter that will greatly expand NASA’s ability to explore the Red Planet. Attached to the helicopter is a postage stamp-sized piece of fabric that covered the wings of the Wright brothers’ first airplane. What a tribute to those who pioneered flight!

This is not the first time such tribute has been paid. In 1969 another swatch of the same fabric made the trip to the moon on Apollo 11, commanded by Neil Armstrong. In 1998 another piece of the same cloth went with John Glenn aboard the space shuttle. Both of those legendary astronauts, by the way, are natives of Ohio, the state where Orville and Wilbur Wright engineered their flying machines.

Were it not for the work of the Wright brothers and many others like them, these trips into outer space would not be possible.

But let’s be honest: Of what value will that swatch of fabric be to the Mars mission? True, it pays tribute to deserving engineers, but even the Wright brothers would be at a loss if a problem developed with Ingenuity. Christians, however, can boast of something much older and much more effective than a piece of cloth.

In 1 Corinthians 2:16 Paul made this statement: “For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” The “mind of Christ” points to a source of power that can help in difficult situations. Though He lived on earth long ago, having Christ’s mind piloting our lives can make a great difference.

One of humanity’s most pernicious problems is living together in harmony. Strife, hatred, and wars all grow out of our divisions. If only we could “in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3,4). Such a mindset would lead to great changes for good in our world! But how can we arrive at such a place?

Paul tells us in the next verse: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Just as NASA made the conscious decision to take the Wright brothers’ fabric on this Mars voyage, so we must make the decision to carry the mind of Christ with us on our life voyage. The difference that decision will make is awesome!

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2020, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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