August is traditionally the month that holidays are taken and enjoyed by thousands of people throughout the land. Individual’s thoughts are very much occupied with images of sea and sand, ice creams, candy floss, the heat of the sun, sun cream and not least with enjoying food and drink. I can only wish those of you who have already been away or who are about to go off to foreign climes my very best wishes – you all deserve it!
For the church, August is a very important time too and there are two very special dates, though those dates are surrounded by over 20 Saint’s day. The first date falls on the 6th August, the day of Christ’s Transfiguration. The Transfiguration commemorates the occasions when our Lord took three of his disciples, Peter, James and John up a mountain, where Moses and Elijah appeared and Jesus was transfigured, his face and clothes becoming dazzlingly bright. The three disciples witnessed the wonderful event and though they were held in that moment of splendour and awe, they had to come down off the mountain and rejoin their everyday life. We do not see such splendour but we are constantly dwelling on the light and joy of Christ’s light.
However, that same day the world commemorates the deaths of millions as we reflect on the final days of World War II and the tragic events of Hiroshima when the first of two atom bombs were dropped on that city and three days later another on Nagasaki. The bombing of those two cities precipitated the end of the conflict with Japan.
The second important day is that of the Feast of the Assumption on the 15th August. This feast day marks the belief that when Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, died, her body was ‘assumed’ into heaven to be reunited with her soul, instead of going through the natural process of physical decay upon death. Mary was and remains very special in the life of the church because she was chosen, marked out as a young woman to bear the child who would transform the whole world and bring hope and love and joy to all who follow him.
As I write the rain pours down but the sun will return!
Enjoy this month and as the sun shines, may God’s blessing be upon you and give you peace.
The Reverend Fr Ronald Croft