Once again, young Australians flocked to Gallipoli, the Kokoda Trail [or track], and to the Dawn Services across the nation.
Young people - seeking that moving moment, that special awareness of life, and death, and ... sacrifice.
"What is it with Anzac Day?" ask the talk-back hosts.
It is certainly a media feast. Much can be said. Much is said.
Emotions run high.
Solemnity finds a true place in our lives. At least for a day.
This is my third post now on similar topics:
1. Things Formal
2. Things Serious
3. Things Anzac!
But what is it about?
It is not 'glorifying war'. Somehow we need to remind ourselves of that.
It is not just the emotional workout - the catharsis.
In my opinion, it is a genuine probing, a searching, about a matter, central to human life, which our culture has in many ways denied to, or hidden from, or ridiculed to - our young people. And others too.
On many of the Anzac Memorials we can find these words, written on plaques, or etched in stone:
'Greater love has no man that this, that he lay down his life for his friends'
(the women, in that old language, were considered to be included).
These are the words of Jesus.
Jesus' own life was a sacrifice.
He lay down his own life, for others, for the world of sinful humanity, (indeed, for the ultimate benefit of his enemies!)
The matter of sacrifice, rightly understood, should never be confined to 'priests, vestments, and ...religion'.
Sacrifice, rightly understood, is central to humanity. To true living.
Sacrifice - as revealed in Jesus life, is that toward which, Anzac Day is ... searching.
May the moments of next Anzac Day, and Remembrance Day, and so on, be occasions, for seeking and finding the true meaning, the full revelation of sacrifice. In this way, those hundreds of thousands of young deaths, in 1914-1918, will not be in vain. They will have pointed toward life - eternal. They will have been a Portent. A sign, of:
1. At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.
2. This is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me!
7 months ago