Why Christians should celebrate ANZAC day

Anzac Day holds a special place in the hearts of all Australians. It is a National day of commemoration, observed as a public holiday on April 25.

On Anzac Day, we pause to reflect, remember, and honour the brave men and women who have served our country in times of war and conflict.

It marks the anniversary of the day when Australian and New Zealand soldiers landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915 as part of the Allies’ invasion during World War I.

Traditionally Australians gather for dawn services across the country. These solemn ceremonies pay tribute to the courage of those who served and commemorate their sacrifices.

And as Christians, it’s a day when we can proclaim the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour – the one who made the ultimate sacrifice for us.

Make no mistake Anzac Day services draw directly from our Christian heritage.

For instance, the words “Lest we Forget” from the refrain of “Recessional,” a poem written by Rudyard Kipling in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Kipling’s goal was to stress the danger of forgetting God, for when nations rise to wealth and power, they are inclined to forget their God.

Though the phrase is used on Anzac Day to commemorate those who have fallen in battle, we need to be mindful of the Scripture Kipling based his poem upon- that we do not forget the God from whom all blessings flow.

Deuteronomy 4:23a reads “Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God.”

As we celebrate Anzac Day this year may the full weight and meaning of Mr Kipling’s poem cause us not to lose sight of what we are by the grace of God alone.

He is worthy of our remembrance. “Lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God.”

_Pastor Mario Schiavone