At Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif., a large wooden cross was erected on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It is close to the entrance, so everyone who enters sees that cross as they drive onto the campus.
One year, my dad took a picture of that cross at sunset and it is hanging in my house. He called the photograph "Hope for a New Day." Not only does it remind me of my college days, it also reminds me of the hope I have in Jesus.
This Friday is the eighth anniversary of that harrowing day when 19 hijackers took control of four airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania (that airplane was meant for the White House, but the passengers thwarted terrorist efforts). Approximately 3,000 people died in the attacks and over 6,000 were injured.
That was an awful day. I remember listening to Dan Rather on the radio describing what was happening in New York City when suddenly he said that the second trade tower was falling. The announcer fell silent and listeners could hear the deep rumble and then the roar of a once giant building imploding.
Afterward, I remember some rescue workers erecting a cross in the rubble. The makeshift cross was made of steel cross beams that had come from one of the towers. It was an emotional scene; yet, it spoke volumes about the people involved in the rescue and clean up efforts. Erecting that cross meant that those people still had hope, no matter how small, in the midst of tragedy. They also had hope for the people still buried underneath the rubble--that they were in a better place, that they had arisen to a new day.
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" Because of what that cross represents, we have hope for a new day. No matter what life throws at us we can still trust in the God who cares for us--the God who sent his son to die, to cleanse us of our sins, to salve our spiritual hurts, to bring us a new covenant and a new commandment, so that we could have hope for a new day.