4th Sunday of Easter / 22nd April 2018
Vicar’s Reflection: Good Shepherd Sunday / Anzac Day
Next Wednesday we observe ANZAC Day. This is not a celebration. It is a commemoration. Just as Good Friday is not a celebration. Up until the beginning of the WW1 just over 100 years ago there was a growing confidence that humanity was triumphantly and inevitably advancing to peace, prosperity 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 the use of nerve gas and threat of nuclear war. 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. Sad, because when used in accordance with the teachings of Jesus, 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. Those who have power must use it to lift people out of poverty, suffering and oppression, to correct injustice and to shelter the vulnerable. This is what a Good Shepherd does. If only we could apply his message what a different world we would have. This would be worth celebrating.