25th April

Anzac Day

‘No one has greater love than this, than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends,’ says the Lord, ‘if you do what I command you.’ John 15:13-14

The word “Anzac” has been a part of Australian thought, language, and life since 25 April 1915. Devised by a signaler in Egypt as a useful acronym for “Australian and New Zealand Army Corps”, (as they wanted something simple instead of writing, typing or sending via Morse Code the full text), it quickly became a word with many uses and meanings.

Many have spoken about traditions about Anzac, but what is the underlying ‘spirit’ that Anzac represents. Since the first settlement, there was always a dogged determination to push on regardless. Whether prisoner, settler, soldier, free man or woman, the Australian ‘spirit’ of achieving their best was born in adversity.

This determination is seen in the Boer War, Boxer Rebellion and into the many other Wars Australians and New Zealands have fought in. This year marks the 100th anniversary of World War 1, and we remember not only for those who died, the grieving families who lost so much, but also we remember the ANZAC spirit of those soldiers and nurses. The ‘spirit’ of doing your best for your mates. Regardless of the circumstances.

God of love and liberty,
We bring our thanks today for the peace and security we enjoy,
We remember those who in time of war faithfully service their country.
We pray for their families, and for ourselves whose freedom was won at such a cost.
Make us a people zealous for peace, and hasten that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation neither learn war any more.
This we pray in the name of the one who gave his life for the sake of the world:
Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Amen.
The Anglican Prayer Book of Australia, Shorter Edition, page 204