We celebrate ANZAC Day with a public holiday. But what are we really celebrating? In November, we hold Remembrance Day when we traditionally have a minute’s silence at 11.00am to remember and thank God for those who fought and gave their life to protect our country. We then also celebrate the signing of the treaty, which brought peace at the end of World War 1.
On ANZAC Day, however, we are not focused on victory. Our attention is turned to those soldiers who fought at Gallipoli and in fact took part in a terrible slaughter. As the soldiers went over the trenches early that morning, they faced overwhelming odds and there were devastating losses. What was born that day, paradoxically, was the spirit of ANZAC Day. The courage to stand firm, to fight for the values of country, family and freedom of faith and not to give way even in the face of impossible odds.
The ANZACS did triumph! They did stand firm and when they were at their weakest a nation learnt that they had great strength in being. They didn’t have to win, because in their weakness they have been remembered for their strength and that ANZAC spirit and courage lives on today.
On Good Friday, Jesus was at his weakest too! But the great paradox is that on the Gallipoli of his cross he won the greatest victory of all time in banishing the power of death for those who have faith in him.
In our country we are blessed with peace and we do not have to put on the uniform of the soldier. But we have another battle to wage that of being soldiers for Christ. How are we standing up and facing that campaign in our community?
Paul says…” But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession” (2 Cor. 2:14)
Neil P. Schiller