TransfigurationAugust 6th is significant for two reasons.In 1945 the United States detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August , respectively. The two bombings killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians, and remain the only use of nuclear weapons in armed conflict. In the final year of World War II, the Allies prepared for a costly invasion of the Japanese mainland. This undertaking was preceded by a conventional and firebombing campaign that devastated 64 Japanese cities. The war in Europe concluded when Germany surrendered on 8 May 1945, and the Allies turned their full attention to the Pacific War. By July 1945, the Allies' Manhattan Project had produced two types of atomic bombs: "Fat Man", a plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapon; and "Little Boy", an enriched uranium gun-type fission weapon. The 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Forces was trained and equipped with the specialized Silverplate version of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and deployed to Tinian in the Mariana Islands. The Allies called for the unconditional surrender of the Imperial Japanese armed forces in the Potsdam Declaration on 26 July 1945, the alternative being "prompt and utter destruction". The Japanese government chose to ignore the ultimatum.The consent of the United Kingdom was obtained for the bombing, as was required by the Quebec Agreement, and orders were issued on 25 July by General Thomas Handy, the acting Chief of Staff of the United States Army, for atomic bombs to be used against Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, and Nagasaki. These targets were chosen because they were large urban areas that also held militarily significant facilities. On 6 August, a Little Boy was dropped on Hiroshima, to which Prime Minister Suzuki reiterated the Japanese government's commitment to ignore the Allies' demands and fight on. Three days later, a Fat Man was dropped on Nagasaki.It is vitally important that people of good faith remember this date and pray fervently that Nuclear weapons will never be used again.Secondly this date marks the feast of Transfiguration - a most neglected feast of the Christian calendar.
Is it possible that our lives could be changed by a personal transfiguration? Is it possible that the fleeting experience of the divine presence in our lives, given through a mountain-top experience, could so transform us that we could say with
confidence that we had been born again? If the church as we know it is to survive in this new millenium, then something of the sort must happen to thousands of people, in order to renew and revitalise the church and bring Peace on Earth. Perhaps this is not possible for us. But transfigured by our faith in the Christ transfigured, crucified and risen for us – Yes, I believe that that is perfectly possible. Thanks be to God.