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This page last updated 30 March 2009
Anglicans Online last updated 20 August 2000

Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

Alas, we cannot publish every letter we receive. And we won't publish letters that are anonymous, hateful, illiterate, or otherwise in our judgment do not benefit the readers of Anglicans Online. We usually do not publish letters written in response to other letters. We edit letters to conform with standard AO house style for punctuation, but we do not change, for example, American spelling to conform to Canadian orthography. On occasion we'll gently edit letters that are too verbose in their original form. Email addresses are included when the authors give permission to do so.

If you'd like to respond to a letter whose author does not list an email, you can send your response to Anglicans Online and we'll forward it to the writer.

Letters from 23 to 29 March 2009

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

Letter to the editor

I was interested in last week's letter from the Johnsons which included Dean John Colet's elegant translation of the Lord's Prayer. An additional little-known dimension of that translation is that when Colet made that translation public (in 1513), he was suspended from his position as Dean of St. Paul's — since ANY translation of scripture without episcopal approval was canonically illegal in England at the time!

(Reference: Alistair McGrath, In the Beginning:The Story of the King James Bible, etc.; New York, 2001)

John-Julian, OJN
The Order of Julian of Norwich
Hartland, Wisconsin, USA
28 March 2009

Letter to the editor

I've been "out of circulation" since May 14, 2008 when I was taken to the "Emergency Department" of a local hospital, and after examination was admitted to the cardiovascular unit where a stent was inserted in an artery to my brain as a precaution to prevent strokes. I then underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery. After 24 days in the hospital I was discharged. Thanks to the many prayers on both sides of the Pacific and the skills of surgeons and staff members of healing teams, I have recovered. Over a period of months I have received physical therapy and other training, and feel much stronger. I am blessed to now be 77 years old. On February 25, 1957 (St. Matthias' day transferred) I was Ordained to the Priesthood, so it was my 52nd Anniversary

Finally I read Anglicans Online for the first time in 10 months, and decided to write to you!

I am Canadian-born, and moved to Seattle when I was 35 years old in 1966. We were invited to St. Peter's Church, Seattle, Diocese of Olympia, to serve American Episcopalians of Japanese ancestry, and 15 years after we emigrated, my wife (who came from Japan), my first daughter (who was born in Canada), and I, became US citizens by naturalization. In my retirement I am involved in caring for a parish or involved in pastoral care, but did deliver a homily on the Sunday before the beginning of Lent. These words came about after much meditation and prayer, and from a confluence of days and seasons that I refer to.


Today is the last Sunday after the Epiphany. Three days from today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

In a recent revision of our prayer book, the Gospel for today was changed. We now hear the account of the Transfiguration of Christ that happened shortly before Jesus died on the Cross. The clothes that Jesus wore shone with a brightness not ever seen before by anyone. Three Disciples: Peter, James and John, who went with Jesus up a high mountain, saw this spectacular sight, and they also saw Moses and Elijah, past representatives of the Law and the Prophets. The Transfiguration happened shortly before Jesus faced betrayal, a trial, and death on the Cross.

Once a year this story is read on August 6th. Now — in addition to the summer time — this Gospel is read on this day. If we try to recall the sequence of event in the life of Jesus, the first Transfiguration was momentous. Several persons witnessed a spectacular sight, surprising and traumatic. For us as we enter the solemn period of reflection and self-examination that we call Lent, rehearsing this mountain-top experience with Jesus prepares us for the greatest events that Jesus faced. Thus it is right and appropriate to begin with the Transfiguration, and three days later observe Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. For the next eight weeks, we have the opportunity to review all the things Jesus went through “for us and for our salvation”. After the four weeks of Lent, Holy Week comes, beginning with Palm Sunday. Then comes Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and the Great Festival of Easter — when Jesus rose from death and the grave!

The recent prayer book revision that brought the reading of the Transfiguration Gospel to the last Sunday after the Epiphany, three days before Ash Wednesday, reminded me of some additional connections between these dates. The three days between the end of Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, took on additional meaning because of the Transfiguration Gospel. In 1945 the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6th, Transfiguration Day. Now here we are, at the end of Epiphany, and three days after that is Ash Wednesday, but three days after August 6th and Hiroshima, was  August 9th — when the City of Nagasaki became the second Ground Zero. Today we read the Transfiguration Gospel, and three days after today we observe Ash Wednesday, so we are reminded of Nagasaki that was left in ashes and radioactive radiation in 1945.

A Canadian Anglican Missionary went to Hiroshima in the early post-war years and helped to re-build the Church of the Resurrection. It was like a phoenix rising out of the ashes. That Missionary, Father Harold McSherry, told me that in Japanese the word for “Transfiguration” can also mean “disfiguration”.

We who follow the Church Calendar observe August 6th as the Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus, but the world associates August 6th as the day in 1945 when the first atomic bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima. As a teen-ager in 1945, I began to read in Canadian newspapers, the dreadful dangers and destructive power of the A-bomb and nuclear fission. We were told to be ready for the possibility of a nuclear attack and wear white or light-colored clothing to ward off radiation, and find out where the nearest air-raid shelter was located. Those warnings have long been forgotten, but the Transfiguration event we read about today becomes a foreshadowing of the future.

The disciples were to witness great suffering before the glory of God would be revealed. May this Last Sunday of the Epiphany be a launching pad into the season of Lent as we give thanks for the glory of God made known to us in the Transfiguration of Jesus on the Holy Mountain, and for the power of God made known to us on Ash Wednesday. Ashes remind us of death, and that Jesus died for our sins on the Cross. But because Jesus was raised from the dead, He lives! Our hope is kindled to put our trust in Jesus. We will die with him, and also live with Him to Eternal Life.

Let us thank God for the Season of Lent into which we are about to enter. May our Lenten Pilgrimage bring us to Holy Week and Easter Day -- through the Life, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Jesus lived among us on this earth. He died, but He rose from the Dead, and is alive! We, too, will live – and Jesus who rose from the Dead, now lives, and prays, for us, every day, to God the Father!

The Reverend Canon Timothy Makoto Nakayama
Saint Mark's Cathedral, Diocese of Olympia
Seattle, Washington, USA
23 March 2009

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We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All published letters are in our archives.


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