ANZAC Day 2014
|Type of event|| Commemoration
This piece was delivered at the 2014 ANZAC Day dawn service at Pioneer Park
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Peace is costly, because it always requires sacrifice. We are especially mindful of that on a global scale today To recognize, confront and overcome wrong, injustice, those who would seek to dominate through oppression and fear; to fight against these things will cost, has cost many people their lives, or the lives of those they love. Peace will always come at a cost. This truth is deeply embedded in the Christian tradition. Many of us have celebrated the Christian festival of Easter where we remember the ultimate cost of the life of the Son of God making it possible for peace between God and all humanity.
But I'm sure we all understand this truth in our personal experience as well. We feel it whenever someone is wronged. When we are the ones who cause the hurt, if we acknowledge the wrong and seek peace through reconciliation and say sorry, we face the potential shame as we risk rejection. We have to overcome our pride to acknowledge that we are not perfect, that we are broken and flawed. And we put ourselves entirely in someone else's hands knowing that they may take the opportunity to seek revenge, not peace.
When it is the other way round, when someone wrongs us then seeks peace by saying, ‘Sorry’ we have to make the choice to let go of our pain, to give up our right for justice if we are to say, ‘That’s okay, I forgive you’. When we do forgive, we are also taking the great risk that we may be hurt again; it is a very vulnerable place to be.
Or we may choose to let the wrongdoing slide when, for the sake of peace, we hold our tongue, withhold a truth, when we willing choose to forego our rights we take that shame on ourselves and choose to bear the cost.
Forgiveness is always costly; bringing peace is always costly.
Many of us have not and probably will not participate in live battle , but we each face choices everyday that may promote or hinder the freedoms of others. Will you lend your voice to those who cannot speak for themselves? Will you stand up for the rights of the vulnerable; the oppressed? It will be costly. Maybe it will cost time or effort, even money. Or maybe it will cost socially, some awkward conversations, perhaps even looking like a bit of a goose to your friends or family; a subtle kind of shame.
But as we remember heroes of the past and celebrate the peace they made possible through making the ultimate sacrifice, let us honour their sacrifice and follow their example of pursuing peace, even if it will cost us much.
Prayer for ANZAC Day:
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 served this 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 the 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.
Rev. David MacGillivray