The first moment of one day in the world, in the place where every day begins.
There is a Chinese Proverb that says, one picture is worth a thousand words. As a storyteller, words and pictures are the tools of my trade. This photo may not look like much, but to me, it’s worth a LOT more than a thousand words! Since I took this photo, I have contemplated this story so many times.
This image, with no photoshop or editing whatsoever, was taken on my I-Phone 6, against a double-paned, plexiglass window from the galley of a Delta Airlines 757 Airbus. I was flying from Tokyo to back to the states after a successful mission trip and teaching assignment at a university Christian student center in Bangkok, Thailand. I was 33,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean headed east.
Soon I heard the pilot say over the speaker system that, “if anybody was interested there was a unique photo opportunity out the window, as it was now just about midnight over the International Date Line. I darted up from my seat, scooted back to the galley from a very crowded isle of sleeping passengers to where I knew there was a window and peered out to see what I could see.
The International Date Line is an internationally accepted demarcation on the surface of Earth, running between the South Pole and North Pole and serving as the boundary between one calendar day and the next. It passes through the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude and deviating to pass around some territories and island groups. Crossing the date line eastbound decreases the date by one day or 24 hours.
Again, while this is not a “good photo” per se, I knew the story here was not about the photo, but the dawn of a new day. This was a day that had over seven BILLION stories waiting to be lived out! As I gazed into the sunrise of the reflections on the water below, I wondered, “What was in store for the people of earth this August the 9th, 2015?
I thought of the struggles and pain that so many around the world suffered every day. I also thought of the joys people would experience on this day. But I was also reminded of Psalms 118:24 – “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
I thought about my own precious family, my wife, children and grandchildren and then I prayed that God would protect them all so that we would have the joy to live this day until tomorrow.
Perhaps the best part of this day’s many stories however, had a more spiritual application. You see, when I took this photo, it hadn't just become August 9th, 2015, it had become the SUNDAY, August the 9th, 2015. I realized that at that moment, at that location, on that day, Christians from around the globe, for the next 24 hours, would be gathering in waves to remember the life of Jesus in what we call the Lord’s Supper – or Communion!
As we that are Christians, on this first day of the week, we gather to remember the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. Every week millions of Christians will gather in small and large groups, in large and small church buildings, in homes, in jungles clearings, on mountaintops, in non-descript meeting places, and every imaginable corner of the world to celebrate and remember Jesus, in a meal we call the COMMUNION.
If you now have a vivid image in your head, about this event, both here and elsewhere, you have a picture worth more than thousand words!