ANZAC Day 2013
|Type of event||Commemoration
ANZAC Day 2013
12Jesus said: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
It is indeed a privilege to serve today as we join together and with the thousands of others spread out over the globe participating in services such as this one – For us – and them this day is more than just a day off; another public holiday.
Today there will be countless services and events full of people stopping to remember various theatres of war:
Gallipoli and the Western Front, North Africa, places around the Mediterranean; events from areas around the Pacific, New Guinea, Korea, Vietnam, and of course Iraq and Afghanistan will be remembered today.
There is something about this special; dare I call it a “Spiritual” day?
Something that is more than the sum of its parts.
There is something here that is more than just a crowd gathered.
Celtic Lore describes it as, ‘Thin Places’ – the places or times where the veil between this world and the spiritual is particularly thin – where we catch a glimpse into or have a sense of the great mysteries. I don’t know about you, but ANZAC day is like that for me.
At a time when there is increasing pressure to subdue the spiritual, to jettison the religious and stifle the divine I am delighted to see events like this thrive.
To see young people flocking to these services gives me hope that materialism isn’t the only thing the next generation are pursuing.
I am proud of my 16 year old nephew who spent last night at the vigil in the city with his friends from his Venturer Unit.
At this gathering this morning, this place is transformed from the park that many of us drive or walk past without a second glance into a place of sombre reflection; thankful remembrance.
We are changed, from being strangers to being united in a common story.
Today the values of Mateship and Sacrifice are remembered, celebrated and renewed. Today we encounter something of the human condition.
For me and perhaps for many of you I can’t help but see the connections between the Christian story and ANZAC Day.
They share together the darkness of the human experience.
Just a few weeks ago many of us observed Good Friday; the day we remember Jesus’ sacrificial death for the world.
Those who have known the hell of war can relate more than most people with Jesus’ anguished cry from the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
It’s a cry that has echoed down through the ages of the human experience.
And of course the idea of the Ultimate Sacrifice; of one life being given for another.
Many gravestones and memorials have the ancient words from John 15 in the Bible, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
So try as we might as a society to concrete over our spirituality with a hard kind of materialism – it creeps through the cracks and bubbles its way to the surface like a spring; finding its way into our lives in all sorts of ways.
I wonder if that is a bit of what is happening with days like today…
Where through remembering we are reminded that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves; something beyond ourselves.
So today, may we take the time to foster that part of us that is so easily neglected – that desire for the spiritual as we ponder the price of peace.
Multiple photos of the Service are available by clicking here.
- Rev. David MacGillivray