And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends. John 15:13 (TPT)
Anzac Day Devotional
(Read our 2018 Anzac Devotional here)
For Australians and New Zealanders, April 25, Anzac Day, holds a special place in our hearts and spirits. Every year we stop to thank and remember the men and women who have served our country in the ultimate way, laying down their lives while defending our freedoms.
At dawn on the 25th April 1915, Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) troops landed on the shores of Gallipoli. It was a military operation that was meant to push back the Ottoman Turkish army and ultimately lead to the capture of Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire. What they thought was going to be a bold and effective move, stalemated. And for eight long, horrific months, thousands of men, on both sides, endured incredible hardship (beyond our comprehension), with thousands losing their lives. The Anzac troops were eventually evacuated. Even though the mission was not successful, what happened in Gallipoli and the courage and tenacity of the Anzac troops, left a powerful legacy for our people. One that has changed us and spans beyond the immediate generation of that day in 1915, to this day and beyond. Charles Bean, an Australian war historian, said,
“the Anzac spirit stood, and still stands, for reckless valor in a good cause, for enterprise, resourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship, and endurance that will never own defeat.”
No matter what country we’re from, what culture and ethnicity we hold to, we all have these stories in our histories. Stories of bravery, strength, hardship, courage, war, the threat of darkness and the fortitude of hope.
My Grandfather served in World War 2 in Papua New Guinea. He hardly spoke of the war. Sometimes, brief descriptions would fall from his lips, but he mostly danced vicariously around the subject. He belonged to a generation whose wild and free years of early adulthood were set aside in order to respond to a darkness that threatened not just Australia, but the world. It affected Those on both sides of the war, some were drawn into it, others opposed it to the very end and won for us our freedom. They have given us courage to stand up against the darkness we face today.
Thank you, Anzacs. For your sacrifices, your offerings, your love.
And in the spirit of Anzac, to every person who has stood up when someone else has forced them down, and then stood up for someone else; to those who give of themselves for the freedom of another – the single mum who works around the clock, the father who sacrifices and comforts, the social worker who sits with lost souls through the night, the artists who give expression to our heartaches and hopes, to the lawyers and politicians who work tirelessly for your people and nations, to the teachers who see the best in their students, to the policemen who protect, to the doctors who investigate and listen, to the friends that reach out and give, to the brothers and sisters that never give up – to everyone who has a bit of that Anzac spirit beating inside of you – Thank you.
Thank you for offering your lives and freedoms for the sake of others.
“So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends.” – John 15:13 (TPT)
Written by Lizzy Milani