ANZAC Day is coming up this week. It’s a high holy day of Australian Civil Religion. While people might campaign to have the shops open on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Christmas Day, no-one would dare interfere with the sanctity of ANZAC Day.
So what is it we are supposed to remember on ANZAC Day? That on this day, back in World War I, a whole lot of young Australian and New Zealand men were sent into a battle they had no hope of winning, and were predictably slaughtered? That today, all over the world, young men and women are placed in a situation where they are in constant danger for their lives, but many of them are doing it in hopes of making the world a safer place? That, in our modern world, the people who make the decision to go to war, don’t actually go themselves (unlike the days when kings went at the head of the army)?
Maybe we remember all these things: that war costs us the lives of so many of our young people, who have the potential to do so much if they were allowed to live their lives; that for each of those lives lost there’s a family that will never be complete again; that today we have wars going on all over the world for all kinds of reasons, not all of them in any way justifiable; that many of the world’s refugees and displaced people are running from the horrors of war.
Maybe what we remember is this: human beings have failed in a big way. We don’t love our neighbours as ourselves. We don’t forgive those who sin against us. We don’t love and pray for our enemies. We resent, we fear, we hate, and we fight. It’s part of who we are.
The answer to humanity’s failing is Jesus. Where we fail to love our neighbours, he loves us no matter who or what we are. Where we fail to forgive, he has gone to the cross to forgive our sins. Where we have failed to pray for our enemies, he prays constantly at God’s right hand for us, the very people who have hurt him and let him down. Where we resent, fear, hate and fight, Jesus answers with love.
Grace and peace
Dates to note:
16 May. 7pm. Church Council.
16 June. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 June. Adult Fellowship will have special offering envelopes to support Mercy Ships women’s health projects
15 September. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.
17 November. 7am to 10.30am. Working bee for cleaning/maintenance of church, hall and grounds.