Sunday, August 06, 2006

Christ and the Bomb - August 6

August 6, 2006

Today is August 6. It’s one of those dates that will bounce around inside your head until you remember why you should remember it. Oh that’s right: Hiroshima, the Atom bomb, World War II. Most of us give it a brief thought and don’t think about it again until the next time the same date pops up and the little remembering ritual is repeated.

Usually any connection to Christianity with this event centers on the moral question. But there are some interesting analogies between Christ and the Bomb:

History-Centering
Both Christ and The Bomb split history in two. There is B.C. (Before Christ) and there is A.D. (Anno Domino – "In the year of Our Lord" or since the coming of Christ) As per The Bomb, there was the world "before The Bomb" and the world "after The Bomb", a world forever altered by an unimaginable power to split atoms and literally undo Creation.

Heavenly Origins and Something Else
Both Christ and The Bomb came from above. And both came as a child: Jesus coming as a baby boy; The Bomb coming as “Little Boy” (as it was so named).

Signs in the Heavens
Both events were marked by a sign in the heavens that could be seen from a great distance: For Jesus there was an unusually bright star which many scientists claim was a supernova, a phenomenon caused by an unimaginably powerful stellar thermonuclear explosion, a description that would aptly describe 8:15am, August 6, 1945, 1,900 feet above Hiroshima.

And One More
But there is one analogy, a metaphor even, which is especially appropriate for today. The Bomb emitted a light brighter than the anything the world had ever seen. Of course, one could not even “look upon it” (sound familiar?) lest their eyes be burnt. The world has only known one other instance of similar “eye-burning” brilliance.

It happened on Mt. Tabor, circa 32-33 A.D. and was witnessed by three guys named Peter, James, & John. The Gospels describe the brightness as “shining”, “exceeding white as snow”, “glistening”, “intensely white”, “brilliantly white”. In this moment, Eternity intersects Time, Heaven fuses with Earth, , Creation is undone, Christ is transfigured, and Peter is left babbling something about going camping (well, he mentions pitching tents).

“Transfigured” is a word that could well be used to describe Hiroshima’s “atomic moment”. In one blinding flash 70,000 people were instantly "transfigured" into little piles of ash and Creation was once again undone.

Those who planned the morning visit of “Little Boy” were probably not aware that the chosen day was the Feast of the Transfiguration.

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