Faith and relevance in the 21st century

Category: War

Mixed feelings on Anzac Day

I always have mixed feelings on Anzac Day. I get emotional at the enormous courage and sacrifice of people who gave their lives, but they were innocent victims of powerful people who sent them to a slaughter.

Not just the massacre of Gallipoli where the Anzacs fought, but the Battle of Stalingrad where soldiers were given one rifle between them, so when the first soldier was killed the second picked up his rifle and went as far as he could until he was shot.

I also find it largely ironic that at every Anzac memorial we see the words of Jesus: greater love has no one but to lay down their life for their friends. The Anzacs did this, and it was an example of Jesus’ sacrifice, absorbing and exposing the evil of the world, including the evil of war. Within the unspeakable horror of war, the Christlike attributes of courage and suffering love are made all the clearer. Love often stands out more in the middle of evil.

Peace in Hiroshima

“Strike a bell in Hiroshima park
You know that we can’t see in the dark
We try and we try and we try…”

– Midnight Oil, Hercules

Hiroshima_Peace_BellAs the world remembers the most terrible day in Japan’s history, and one of the most terrible days in our planet’s history, it is just unbelievable that the world is closer to nuclear armageddon today than during the Cold War. And the other problem is that no one is talking about it.

The attack on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 showed the world that, for the first time in human history, we knew we had the ability to destroy ourselves. Today that ability is closer than ever. In October 1962 we came incredibly close, but with relations today between Russia and the West as they are, the Doomsday Clock has been closer to midnight only once in its history.

The late Ross Langmead used to sing a song simply called Love One Another, in which the opening lines were,

Some trust in nations, some trust in war

But trust in my love

For I am the Lord

Stop all the fighting

Let the wars cease

For I am your God

The Fountain of Peace

During this solemn day, I am reminded of another song, Peace on Earth by U2, or John Mellencamp’s Now More Than Ever (“the world needs love”). Most of all though, I am reminded of the Prince of Peace, the source of love. As Ross Langmead goes on to sing in the above-mentioned song, the great hope of Christian faith is that war will one day be over forever, fighting will cease, and the kingdom of peace will reign forevermore.

May Hiroshima never happen again. The world must not forget. Life on this planet depends on it.


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