ANZAC Day - Past

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Type of event Commemoration

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Please click here to view photos of past ANZAC Days in Gawler.

2019 ANZAC Day Reflection

I can’t help but have a heavy heart at this time; when we consider the number of lives lost in conflict.

Sadly, conflict is not confined to a dark portion of our history. But now, in these days, in our world, atrocities are committed in the name of a cause; We still feel the grief of our neighbours in New Zealand from the violence they faced only a month ago. We stand in shock at the terror in Sri Lanka this past weekend.

Both occasions of people gathered to peacefully worship; to live out their religious beliefs. To have that peace destroyed and their lives forcibly ripped from them. By hatred. Hatred and fear.

What’s the remedy? Take sides? Seek revenge? Sadly these are natural human responses and all too common. But they are born out of fear, which will in turn lend itself to hatred and more violence. There is another way.

John 15:12-14;17

12  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 

14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 

17  This is my command: Love each other.

These are familiar words at this time of year. They are words that have been spoken at many ANZAC Commemorations. But they pre-date ANZAC day by some 2,000 years.

They are the words of Jesus of Nazareth spoken to his closest friends the same night he was betrayed; handed over to those who hated him and desired him dead. It is a bold declaration of the sort of life that reflects the love of God. A life willing to lay itself aside in love. A life of willing sacrifice. He wasn’t just speaking in theory; Jesus lived this out. The same night he spoke these words he was confronted by men, armed and charged to take him.

John’s gospel recalls that he spoke to his captors: “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”

He willingly gave his life for his friends, to ensure their safety over his own. The day after he spoke these words is the day we remember as Good Friday. The day Jesus died for, not just his friends, but for all who would follow him. And by his death opened the way to life in its fullness. In this he is not simply a teacher – but a living example. This is the sort of love that is of God. A love that does not fear loss - because it gives all it has.

It is this love – this type of life that we remember and honour today. We remember all those who have given all that they are and all that they have – in love. It is this life that we strive to live. To live in such a way as to be willing to set aside ourselves; our rights and privilege for others, to use our gifts, strengths and influence for the good of others. To live a life of sacrificial love; this is the life God intends for us.

This is the love we need in our world; these are the lives we need to live, even if only in part.

It is my prayer today that more people will strive to live lives of sacrificial love. To be willing to desire good for others, even those we disagree with, especially those we disagree with, even those we claim to hate. To seek their good; to love, expecting nothing in return.

Then I can’t help but feel there would less people having their lives taken away forcibly.

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Reverend David MacGillivray. 5th April 2019

Light Square Anzac Day 23apr2006
Light Square Anzac Day 23apr2006
Light Square Anzac Day 23apr2006
Light Square Anzac Day 23apr2006
Pioneer Park Anzac Day 25apr2007
Pioneer Park Anzac Day 25apr2007
Pioneer Park ANZAC Day 25nov2010
Pioneer Park ANZAC Day 25nov2010

Memories of ANZAC Day - Past

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