Vicar’s Reflection: 24 April 2015, 4th Sunday of Easter (Anzac W’end)
ANZAC Day this year falls within the 100th year since the beginning of the First World War (WW1). This is not a celebration. It is a commemoration. Just as Good Friday is not a celebration. Up until the beginning of the WW1 in Western Society there was a growing confidence that humanity was triumphantly and inevitably advancing to prosperity, peace and a perfected society based on rational principles. There was confidence that people no longer needed salvation from God because science and rationalism would solve all humanity’s problems. Then WW1 happened; then the Great Depression; then WW2; then Vietnam and so on right to the present with ISIS. Shaken belief in the power of rationalism and science did not result in a return to faith in God. Rather it resulted in a suspicion of all forms of authority and all who exercise power, including the church. This is sad since in Jesus we see one whose analysis of the use of power, when properly understood and applied by those who exercise power, can transform society. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. Jesus reverses the normal exercise of power which delivers advantage to the powerful. His consistent message is that power is to be used to bring benefit to the least. If only we could apply his message what a different world we would have. This would be worth celebrating.