My favourite school event hands down is Anzac Day. The reverence, the time of reflection, the rituals, the uniforms, the pride it conjures, and the spirit of thankfulness it evokes is unrivalled. It is a day that is embraced by the whole community. And rightly so. The many stories and recounts of incredible feats of bravery and courage of our past and present defence men and women holds it dear and sacred in everyone’s hearts.
This year Mueller College honoured the soldiers who served as part of the 4th and 12th Light horse regiments in World War One. Students were educated about the Palestinian campaign whose success hinged on the invasion and capture of the wells of Beersheba, thus giving the Allies critical access to Gaza and Jerusalem. They were told of the audacious attack made by 800 light horse mounted infantries, who charged the trenches under heavy gunfire and overwhelming odds.
Special guest Adam Holloway unpacked the character and spirit of these troops and their Australian steeds at our Anzac Day Remembrance service. He explained the significance of the slouch hat, and the emu plumes that adorned them, and highlighted just how revered these soldiers were across the world, for their bravery, their ability to adapt to fighting conditions, and their larrikin spirit and never-say-die attitude.
Another reason why I cherish Anzac Day, is that it follows so closely to Easter. In Easter lies the ultimate story of sacrifice. Jesus came to earth and gave His life for all in a supreme act of complete and unconditional love.
The Anzacs fought and died to ensure we enjoy life as we know it today, in relative freedom and peace. We do indeed live in a lucky country and enjoy much to be grateful for. Jesus died to ensure we live life today in complete freedom and absolute peace. Freedom from sin, guilt, judgement and eternal consequences. Peace in every storm and hardship that gives us a confidence in Christ despite our circumstances. We are indeed blessed to be able to accept that free gift.
The sacrifice of the Anzacs was made so that we would hopefully not have to fight in wars and battles. The sacrifice of Jesus was made so that He could fight our battles on our behalf. Songwriter Phil Wickham writes it perfectly in his song Battle Belongs;
So when I fight, I fight on my knees,
with my hands lifted high.
The battle belongs to you.
And every fear I lay at your feet,
I’ll sing through the night,
The battle belongs to you
Accepting the free gift of salvation will open up a way for a life of complete freedom and absolute peace. If you have never experienced these, it is definitely a gift worth considering today.