CLERGY TEAM

   

Rector  


The Revd.

Matthew J Hughes

01689 856931

 jmath@btinternet.com

Associate Rector   


The Revd.
Stephen Broadie
 01689 852843
revstephenbroadie@
gmail.com

Assistant Priest  


The Revd.

Bill Mullenger

020 8462 9624
wsmullenger@
idnetfreemail.co.uk

 

August Leader

It could be said that August is a month of mixed anniversaries and feasts.

The 6 th August is the anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima and it also happens to be the feast of Our Lord’s Transfiguration.

The 9 th August marks the bombing of Nagasaki and then six days later on 15 th August there is the Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary, otherwise known as the Feast of the Assumption and 1st August is international beer day!

In fact the month of August was named after the first Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar, (63 B.C. 14 A.D.) nephew of the famous Julius Caesar. Luke in his Gospels mentioned that Augustus was Emperor at the time of Jesus birth.

This year we mark the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the first atomic bomb. Pulling away from the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima in the now famous B 29 bomber, Enola Gay, the co pilot Robert A Lewis was heard to say, ‘My God, what have we done?’ In a matter of moments 100,000 men, women and children were incinerated in the deadliest blast that mankind had ever invented. Albert Einstein later said that ‘if he had foreseen Hiroshima and Nagasaki then he would have torn up his formulas.’

Through the invention of the nuclear weapon and the subsequent arms race humankind finally developed the power to destroy and poison all life on earth. Currently there are 13,890 active nuclear weapons in the world; at least this is less than the 70,000 that were around in 1986. The blinding light and intense heat left people as mere shadows on their walls, people transfigured by war to death and destruction.

On the mountain top of transfiguration there was also a blinding light shining through Christ, but this was the light of God’s love and radiance, the light of love and resurrection. This love has the power to transfigure the disfigured nature of human kind into the pattern of Christ, who shows us what full loving humanity looks like. August powerfully contrasts these two lights, the light of Hiroshima and the light of the Transfiguration and Assumption. The blinding light of man’s inhumanity to his fellow man can be only be changed from within as the power of love builds peace, justice and understanding.

This was illustrated when years later Robert Lewis met two survivors who had been in the Hiroshima blast, one was a Japanese Methodist minister called The Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, who actually appeared with Lewis on an American version of ‘This is Your Life.’ Ironically he was in America to get treatment for some of the survivors of the bomb. The other was a German Jesuit priest called Fr.Hubert Schiffer, who along with other Jesuits had miraculously survived the blast. Lewis and Schiffer developed a friendship. Later Schiffer described them as ‘very fast friends.’

Much suffering and evil takes place at an emotional and at times physical distance. Viewing a mushroom cloud from a cockpit is one thing, being inside the explosion is another. In their friendship Lewis and Schiffer closed this distance in a profoundly human act of reconciliation and understanding. The Transfiguration took place shortly before Jesus’ arrest and barbaric crucifixion. August reminds us of the how dark and light often coexist, both in the world and within us.

The Transfiguration and the Hiroshima anniversary are actually on the same within us. The Transfiguration and the Hiroshima anniversary are actually on the same day. What humans might see as progress and invention as we know from the crisis in our day. What humans might see as progress and invention as we know from the crisis in our environment can actually be crisis. The light of Hiroshima was the darkest light ever environment can actually be crisis. The light of Hiroshima was the darkest light ever invented. invented. God’s love is a pure and authentic love that is never dark and lights up the darkest

God’s love is a pure and authentic love that is never dark and lights up the darkest experiences that we have. experiences that we have.

The Psalmist captures this paradox beautifully in Psalm 139 verses 11 The Psalmist captures this paradox beautifully in Psalm 139 verses 11--12.12.

If I say, ’Surely the darkness shall cover me and the light around me turn to night, even the darkness is not dark to you:
The night is as bright as the day.
The darkness is as light to you.’


Matthew