Help us Lord God – as we think of Gallipoli and Villers-Bretonneux and Passchendaele and Fromelles and Bullecourt and Pozieres – and so many other places such as Burma and Vietnam – help us as we feel that grief to also feel and know enormous gratitude, pride and honour, and delight in this legacy of freedom we now enjoy.
We have been called, rather disparagingly, by those who currently seek to destroy, “the Nations of the Cross” (Libya, on the beach “A message signed in blood, to the nations of the cross”). And yes, Lord, we wear the cross as a badge of honour and we place it, with solemnity, on the tombs of those who have fallen and we are sobered as we survey those fields of crosses.
And as we see and hear, once again, those immortal words “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” we are reminded that they were your words Lord Jesus, and that the cross also was Yours.
Dear God, help us as we celebrate this Anzac centenary time to get this mix right – to glory in the love and sacrifice of so many, to remember with grief, to despair that it was ever necessary, to exult in the freedom we enjoy – and to know that this is the Message of the Cross.
What is the Message of the Cross? to glory in Your love and sacrifice, to remember with grief, to despair that it was ever necessary, and to exult in the freedom You offer to all who will accept.
Adapted from A Centennial Anzac Prayer, April 2015.