LCANZ Bishop Paul Smith has encouraged members of the church to endeavour to ‘strike the right balance’ in their commemorations of Anzac Day.
As both Australians and New Zealanders prepare to mark Anzac Day on 25 April, Bishop Paul says in an eNews message sent today, ‘As we remember and give thanks for acts of courage and sacrifice in war, we also remember the lives tragically cut short, the horror and terror, the depravity, the destruction, the suffering and grief, and the damaged bodies and minds of survivors’.
‘The primary focus of our annual Anzac Day memorials in New Zealand and Australia is to remember and give thanks for members of our Defence Forces, especially for those who have served their nation and died in the line of duty’, he says.
‘… A secondary focus is to acknowledge the sacrifices and often the pain of families of those who have served in military campaigns. This includes those who have lost loved ones, as well as acknowledging the burdens of those who live with and care for people with experiences of war …
‘So, each year on 25 April, we remember. As we strive to strike that balance in our commemorations, we ask the Lord to keep us focused on what serves the common good of all the peoples of the world.’
He also encourages members to pray for peace – both in our nations and around the world, and for those affected by war, as well as for Australian and New Zealand defence force personnel and those who must make difficult decisions regarding national defence.
Read the full message here.