ANZAC Day has been a significant part of life at St Andrews since the inception of the school nearly 30 years ago. This year it was fantastic to have our Senior Choir sing the New Zealand and Australian National Anthems at the Currumbin RSL service that was televised across our nation and our Senior Captains directly participate at Currumbin and Burleigh. Our school was also well represented at the James Street march.
ANZAC Day appears to be growing in significance as part of our collective spirituality as a nation. The ideals of courage, sacrifice, mateship and endurance ring out as noble pursuits and can be embraced by all of our nation. These characteristics are at the core of the Kokoda program that we support so positively through our participation in the challenges in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
As we observed ANZAC Day on last Friday, the symmetry between what our service people have done in the past and what Christ achieved at Easter was highlighted. This was done in the following words - Today, we give thanks for the Sacrifice our Armed forces have made to keep us safe from the tyranny and hardship of oppressive regimes. In other words, the ANZACs defeated powers that wished to enslave us and maintain us as prisoners to ideas and ways we would not want to follow. Jesus’ sacrifice is like this too. His giving up of His life defeated the power of sin and selfishness in our own lives. Our selfishness can enslave us and keep us captive to ways of thinking and living that we don’t want to do…. But Jesus breaks the control selfishness can have over us and sets us free and keeps us free spirituality – just as our service people did in a physical and historical sense.
Freedom is a most wonderful gift. We are forever thankful for all that our Servicemen and women have done to assure us of it, and, similarly we give thanks for Jesus assuring us of freedom from our own selfishness that robs us and others of freedom. How blessed we are to be Free!
Lay Chaplain and Middle Senior School Teacher