February 26, 2008

The Resurrection and the Bomb

Continuing in response to Ben in Denver's comments on my Transfiguration homily from the second Sunday in Lent, I have been thinking about the relationship between the Transfiguration/Resurrection and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which occurred on the feast of the Transfiguration in 1945.

As I've tried to think about it, I think there is an analogy between the Resurrection and the bomb. What is the Resurrection? It is God revealed in history. It is the glorious, immense, and benevolent power we clumsily call "God" revealed to us in Jesus Christ's victory over suffering and death. Most simply, the Resurrection is the fierce but gentle, intense but quiet power at the core of the everything having been made available to us.

It is in this sense that the atomic bomb--and this is how I make sense of Ben's calling it antichrist--is a kind of negative mirror image of the Resurrection, in that it is an unleashing of a hidden power at the core of creation, not for life, but for destruction and death.

But the power that runs amok in an atomic bombing is only that. It is scarcely imaginable, but it is only a power bounded by creation. The Resurrection, on the other hand, unleashes the hidden power at the core of everything that is, including God, and this is the hidden Desire for goodness, gentleness, and life that is the foundation of all that is. And that's why the Resurrection is more powerful than death, and certainly more powerful than the bomb.

1 comment:

ben in denver said...

Thank you for responding to my questions. The concept that evil is a power bounded by creation will make useful fodder for meditation. I had not considered it in those terms. There is something very profound about thinking that created being can check the diabolical. This my reveal something about the human nature of Jesus.