Today was ANZAC day in New Zealand and Australia.
For those of you who don’t know what that is, ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. The Kiwis and Aussies fought together in World War I, and they gained the nickname “ANZACs,” a label that came to be worn with pride.
ANZAC day commemorates the sacrifice that those soldiers made, especially in World War I, and more especially still in the campaign in Gallipoli, Turkey. The place where they landed on the shore has been dubbed “Anzac Cove” (read about it at http://www.anzacday.org.au/spirit/hero/chp07.html)
As a Christian, the idea of commemorating the voluntary self-sacrifice of another for the benefit of others is familiar territory. Every time the church meets, and more importantly every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we remember the supreme sacrifice of Jesus for us. He came into enemy territory and laid down His life to save those who rally to His cause.
ANZAC day is one of the few public holidays that I genuinely believe in. It teaches us to be thankful for the sacrifices that have made for us by others. That’s a vital lesson for Christians to take on board and to present to the world. Christians more than many people should attach a special significance to the phrase so often heard on ANZAC Day, “lest we forget.”