Service for Sunday 25th April 2021 – Geoffrey Webber

Servicing the Bald Hills and nearby Communities

Service for Sunday 25th April 2021 – Geoffrey Webber

Call to Worship    

Today, we take the time to remember those men and women of Australia who have responded to the call to serve in the Armed Forces and the Auxiliary Services of our Nation, in times of War or in times of peace, at home or abroad.  We take the time to remember those who have given their lives in the service of Australia, either on land, or in the air, or on and under the sea, or in the providing of medical or nursing aid.  We take the time to remember those who returned from active Service, injured in body, or mind or soul.  We take the time to remember those who remained at home and who lost a father or a mother, a son or a daughter, a brother or a sister.  We take the time to remember those who tended to the welfare of a family member who returned from active Service and who struggled to adjust to ‘everyday life’ while reliving each day the trauma and the anguish that they had gone through.  We take the time to remember that we experience the benefits that we have today because of the duty, the hardships, and the sacrifice of people such as these.

Prayer of Praise  (Psalm 46: 1 to 3 and 8 to 11) 

God is our shelter and strength,

Always ready to help in times of trouble.

So, we will not be afraid, even if the Earth is shaken,

And mountains fall into the ocean depths,

Even if the Seas rage,

And the hills are shaken by the violence.

Come and see what the Lord has done.

See what amazing things He has done on Earth.

He stops wars all over the World,

He breaks bows, destroys spears, and sets shields on fire.

“Stop fighting,” He says, “and know that I am God,

Supreme among the Nations, supreme over the World.”

The Lord Almighty is with us,

The God of Jacob is our refuge.


“God is our strength and refuge”  TiS28

[sung to the Dam Busters March – there is an introduction]

[This is a very recent YouTube recording, appropriately enough, recorded to celebrate VE Day 2020.  Because of Covid-19 restrictions at the time, it is a ‘virtual recording’.]

VE DAY 75 // ‘God is Our Strength’ (Dam Busters March) – Virtual All Souls Orchestra and Choir – YouTube

Verse 1 of 3

God is our strength and refuge,

Our present help in trouble;

And we therefore will not fear,

Though the Earth should change,

Though mountains shake and tremble,

Though swirling waters are raging:

God the Lord of Hosts is with us evermore.

Verse 2 of 3

There is a flowing river

Within God’s holy city;

God is in the midst of her,

She shall not be moved.

God’s help is swiftly given,

Thrones vanish at His presence;

God the Lord of hosts is with us evermore.

Verse 3 of 3

Come, see the works of our Maker,

Learn of His deeds all-powerful:

Wars will cease across the World

When He shatters the spear.

Be still and know your Creator,

Uplift Him in the Nations;

God the Lord of Hosts is with us evermore.

Richard Bewes

Prayer of Confession   

God our Father, we have sinned against you in thought, word and deed,

We have not loved you with all our heart; we have not loved others as ourselves.

God of Eternity, before you generations fall and rise,

May you have mercy upon our foolishness and carelessness.

Jesus Christ, we ask you to have mercy on us.

Holy Spirit cleanse us from all our sins and help us overcome all our faults.

We hold before you those who have been wronged or insulted or offended, but who have not brought their pain and laid it at your feet and who cannot or will not forgive.  Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

We hold before you those who use the young and old to wreak havoc and commit unthinkable crimes under the banner of restoring national pride or of upholding racial or religious purity, those in a broken World who are consumed by words of hatred and revenge.  Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

We hold before you those who provide the material means for promoting and prolonging armed conflict within and between Nations, for oppressing and supressing other peoples, who value wealth and power above your call to work towards peace and mutual benefit for all.  Christ. Have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

We hold before you ourselves, when we have done nothing about the wrong all around us, when we recall those who have not forgiven us.  Christ, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

 We repent of all that we have done that is not in line with your Will and Purpose for Humanity, and all that we have not learnt from the past.

 We hope for grace to know ourselves forgiven, and to offer forgiveness to others.

Almighty God, who promised that all who turn to you in faith will know forgiveness,

Set us free and pardon us from all of our sins.  Strengthen us to do your will and to work towards the coming of your Kingdom.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

ANZAC Centenary Resources Word copy (

Assurance of Forgiveness 

The Apostle John tells us that, in dying on the cross, “Christ gave his life for us”  (1 John 3: 16)  .  Having confessed our sins before God, and trusting in this promise, we can rest assured that He has listened, that He has forgiven us, and that we are, now, reconciled to God..

Thanks be to God.

Prayer of Illumination  (from Holy Communion Two in Uniting Church Worship Services p21)  

O Lord, our God, you have given your Word to us that it may be a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.  Grant us grace to receive your truth in faith and love, that we may be obedient to your Will and live always for your glory, through Jesus Christ our Saviour.  Amen.

Bible Readings

Micah 4:

1  In days to come

The mountain where the Temple stands

Will be the highest one of all

Towering high above all the hills.

Many nations will come streaming to it,

2  and their People will say,

“Let us go up the hill of the Lord,

To the Temple of Israel’s God.

For He will teach us what He wants us to do;

We will walk in the paths He has chosen.

For the Lord’s teaching comes from Jerusalem;

From Zion He speaks to His People.”

3  He will settle disputes among the Nations,

Among the great Powers near and far.

They will hammer their swords into plows

And their spears into pruning knives.

Nations will never again go to war,

Never prepare for battle again.

4  Everyone will live in peace

Among their own vineyards and fig trees,

And no one will make them afraid.

The Lord Almighty has promised this.

1 John 3:

11  The message you heard from the very beginning is this: we must love one another.  12  We must not be like Cain; he belonged to the Evil One and murdered his own brother Abel.  Why did Cain murder him?  Because the things he himself did were wrong, and the things his brother did were right.

13  So do not be surprised, my sisters and brothers, if the people of the World hate you.  14  We know that we have left death and come over to life; we know it because we love our sisters and brothers.  Whoever does not love is still under the power of Death.  15  Whoever hates his sister or brother is a murderer, and you know that a murderer does not have eternal life in them.  16  This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us.  We, too, then, ought to give our lives for our sisters and brothers.  17  If a rich person sees someone in need, yet closes their heart against them, how can they claim that they love God?  18  My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.

[Revised Standard Version, Today’s English Version, New English Bible]

This is the Word of God.

Praise to you Almighty God.

John 15:

9  Jesus said, “I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love.  10  If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in His love.

11  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  12  My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you.  13  The greatest love a person can have for their friends is to give their life for them.  14  And you are my friends if you do what I command you.  15  I do not call you servants any longer, because a servant does not know what their Master is doing.  Instead I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father.  16  You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures.  And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of Him, in my name.  17  This, then, is what I command you: love one another.

[Revised Standard Version, Today’s English Version, New English Bible]

This is the Gospel of our Lord.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Passing the Peace

Whether we gather in person in our Church building or whether we gather in spirit in our homes, we remain one body, one people of God, one in fellowship and one in worship.  With that in mind, let us uplift our hands and greet those both here and those who cannot be here: The peace of the Lord be always with you.

And also with you.

For the Young at Heart

Screen 1

Lester Edward (John) McAndrew

WW11 – AIF – New Guinea – Morotai – Borneo

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John Cain MC

WW1 – Light Horse – Gallipoli, Gaza, Beersheba

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William Buchanan

WW1 – medic at Gallipoli

Screen 4

Walter Buchanan

Australian Army 27 years incl Vietnam 1966/1967, Singapore 1969/1970, PNG 1973-1975

Screen 5


Duncan Buchanan

Australian Army 18 years incl East Timor 1999, Iraq 2003

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Sidney Lewis

WW1 – Light horse; WW11 – AIF

Screen 7

Harold Lewis

WW11 – AIF

Screen 8

Brian Collins

RAAF for 23 years incl Thailand 1962 – 1963

Screen 9

Harry (Tiger) White

Australian Army – Vietnam 1966, 1968 (Killed in Action)

Screen 10

Eric Ivory

WW11 – CMF – Australia, AIF – Merauke, Bougainville

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Vernon Wallis

WW11 – CMF and Civil Construction Corps – Australia


“Lo! He comes with clouds descending”  TiS273  AHB201  MHB264

Verse 1 of 3

Lo! He comes with clouds descending,

Once for favoured sinners slain;

Thousand, thousand saints attending,

Swell the triumph of His train!

Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

God appears on Earth to reign.

Verse 2 of 3

The dear tokens of His passion

Still His dazzling body bears;

Cause of endless exultation

To his ransomed worshippers;

With what rapture, with what rapture, with what rapture

Gaze we on those glorious scars.

Verse3 of 3

Yea, amen!  Let all adore Thee

High on Thy eternal throne;

Saviour, take the power and glory

Claim the Kingdom for Thine own;

O come quickly, O come quickly, O come quickly,

Everlasting God, come down.

Charles Wesley


Screen 1

The Ode of Remembrance

The familiar Ode, spoken as an integral part of all official services on Anzac Day and Remembrance Day in Australia since 1921.  2021 is then its centennial year of use.

The lines comprise the fourth stanza of the poem For the Fallen written by an English poet and writer Laurence Binyon, who at the time worked as the Assistant Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum.  By mid-September 1914, less than seven weeks after the outbreak of war, the British Expeditionary Force in France were retreating from Mons, during the Battle of the Marne, and had already suffered severe casualties.  During this time, long lists of the names of the dead and wounded appeared in British newspapers.  It was against this background that Binyon wrote this poem.  It was first published in The Times newspaper on 21 September 1914, and, only a few months after, was then published in London in Binyon’s collection of poems, The Winnowing Fan: Poems of the Great War in 1914.  This verse, which became the Ode for the Returned and Services League, has been used in association with commemoration services in Australia since 1921.

  The Ode ends with the line:

“At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we remember them.”

  An Australian historian and author, Darren Mitchell writes that Laurence Binyon has indicated that he took these words from Deuteronomy 16: 6 and 7.  Deuteronomy 16: 1 to 8 is a passage that details for the People of Israel their Passover celebrations, an occasion for giving thanks to God for their rescue from slavery in Egypt.  It was to be an annual celebration, held on the anniversary of their exodus from Egypt, the purpose of which was so that they would always remember who it was who brought about their salvation.

  Verse 6 does contain the phrase “at the going down of the sun”, while verse 7 does contain the phrase “and in the morning”, as per their wording in the Authorised Version of the Bible. 

  These two phrases must have had a poetic appeal to Laurence Binyon because Deuteronomy 16: 1 to 8 has no reference to the conducting of wars nor of God’s victories over their enemies in times of war, and, in September 1914, at the time when the poem was written, final victory by the armies of Britain and France over the invading German army was far from being a guaranteed outcome. 

  Darren Mitchell argues that the compilation of the Anzac Day Service liturgy, which incorporates the Ode, was heavily influenced by two senior Anglican leaders, the Dean of Sydney, the Very Reverend Albert Talbot, and Brisbane’s Canon David Garland, both of whom were chaplains to the first Anzacs.  He suggests that the Ode introduces The Last Post, the signal of death, and The Reveille, the signal of resurrection.  In between, he recognises that the time of silent reflection paralleled the passage of time between Jesus’ death on Good Friday and his rising to new life on Easter Sunday.  He sees the Ode, therefore, as heralding the same act of which Passover was a foretaste, the death and resurrection of Jesus.  He argues that these two Anglican religious leaders intentionally based the Anzac Day liturgy on the premise that death was swallowed up in Jesus’ victory on the Cross, ushering in a new and lasting peace, guaranteed by his resurrection.

The Christian origins and symbolism of Anzac Day – Ethos

  That seems to be the connection that Archbishop Mark Coleridge seeks to make in his 2020 Anzac Day Homily, in which he states: 

“Beyond the Great War the story of death has continued – war after war after war.  Yet it’s not death we celebrate in some dark way.  It’s the strange fact of the life that comes from death.  The deaths at Gallipoli and in all the other wars may have seemed pointless, and doubly lamentable for that.  But on this day, we see with another eye – Christians would call it the eye of Easter.

Yes, there was defeat but also a strange victory – the victory that always belongs to self-sacrifice.  Yes, there was darkness but also the strange and beautiful light that seems like the dawn.  Yes, there was death but also the strange life that death alone can produce.  In remembering those who have died we recognize that war is a curse; but in the deaths, even of those unknown, there is blessing of a kind we neither expected nor imagined.

It’s not the curse but the blessing that helped make this country what it is, since we recognize in the agonies of Gallipoli the birth-pangs of a nation.  We remember – who we are and what helped make us who we are.”

Anzac Day homily 2020 – Archdiocese of Brisbane (

  I question how appropriate his stance is in aiding us to understand the format of the Anzac Day Service, for it is not something that I have understood is the intent behind the liturgy, and it is not something that I would expect to be understood by anyone who does not attend some form of Christian worship, as is the case today in our increasingly secular age.  So, to me, this raises the question then as to how are we, as a worshipping People of God, approach the celebration of Anzac Day.

  Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, made this comment in his 2021 Anzac Day address:

  ANZAC Day appropriately follows Easter on our calendar.  The underlying theme of the Cross is echoed by the soldiers that died for “God, King and country”.  Their lives, their commitments, their sacrifices were for you and I, which is commemorated on ANZAC Day.  It is poignant, significant, and sacred.  Many lives were lost.  We are forever indebted to the brave men and women who died on the frontier of the battlefields for our freedom, for all that we have.  We will never forget them.  We remember and recall ANZAC every year, and we educate our children about this alliance.  We will remember them: they are our heroes, our champions, our “game-changers”.

Moderator’s Anzac Day Message | Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

  What he says reflects people’s recollections and sentiments, that we are indebted to those who have served our Nation and sacrificed much for the freedoms and liberty we have inherited as a Nation, and that we should never forget them. 

  This is the stance taken by the then State LNP leader and Member for Clayfield, Tim Nicholls, in his Anzac Day address at the 2019 ANZAC Day memorial service at the cenotaph at Windsor, at which he said that, “ the cenotaph at Windsor is a “stone” laid to help future generations to remember the heroic and sacrificial efforts by Australia’s soldiers in fighting to protect the values and way of life held dear by everyone in the country.”

ANZAC Day service of firsts | The Salvation Army Stafford

  However, Dr Ben Myers, a Queensland author and lecturer in Theology, writing in 2010, argues that we should be aware of Anzac Day’s religious and theological mythology, the way our culture misidentifies military “sacrifice” with the sacrifice of Christ,  (The most common Bible verse on Australian war memorials is, “Greater love hath no man than this.”  John 15: 13)  , and, also, with the romanticisation of war that has become so prevalent in Australia today.  This mythology is vivid if you look at some of the country’s war memorials, which project a majestic image of worship, devotion and sacrifice.  He argues that it is more a vivid representation of the cult of war that lies at the heart of the modern nation-state, and the religious symbolism of what he terms Australia’s most sacred holiday with its devout celebrations, and that this must force us to ask to whom these devotions are offered year after year, to the Father of Jesus, or to an insatiable pagan god of war?

Faith and Theology: Anzac Day and the god of war (

  Doug Hynd, an Australian author, has lectured in Christian ethics at Charles Sturt University and is currently working at the Australian Centre for Christianity and culture.  He questions the compatibility between the claims embodied in the liturgy of the Dawn Service and the claims of the Christian gospel.  He highlights the emotionally appealing language of the Anzac Day Dawn Service and its theme of sacrifice.  They, the Anzacs, and every Australian who has served our country from the Great War onwards, especially those who have sacrificed their lives, did so, we are told, so that we might have the freedom and the sort of Society that we have in Australia today.

  However, Doug Hynd argues that the reading of History does not provide support for such an underlying claim that the relatively open society that Australia is today is the result of the willingness of men to go to war in a variety of conflicts.

  He claims that it is hard to argue that the deaths in the Gallipoli Campaign made any real difference to the outcome of World War 1, let alone to how our Society developed after WW1.  The campaign was a bungled affair of dubious strategic significance, so he writes. 

  He continues by saying that the reasons we have the sort of society that we do is due to a wide variety of contributory causes, historical, social and religious, most of which have little to do with whether Australians fought in a specific battle or not.  The claim tends to underplay the ongoing commitment that is required of us all to sustain a relatively open society.  It is a commitment which cannot avoid an ongoing struggle to place limits on the exercise of political and economic power.  The claim tends to devalue the commitments of those who have sought to deal peacefully with the ongoing evil within our societies.

  He admits that there is a strong case in Christian theology and the Scriptures for an appeal to the theme of sacrifice as a source of moral claim on the way we should live, however the understanding of sacrifice in the New Testament has little to do with giving up your life in the course of participating in war.  The liturgy of Anzac Day and its underlying claims, unrealistically asks us to believe that our Nation’s entire history of military undertakings has been motivated by a commitment to self-giving love.

  He points out that the classic text which is appealed to in the Anzac Day service, is ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man should lay down his life for his friends‘ (John 15:13).  The appeal of this text is unmistakable but, if it is examined closely in the context of the surrounding argument, it does not provide support in any blanket way for the sacrifice of life in war.  The words quoted must be read in context.  The invocation is preceded by the command, ‘This is my commandment. Love one another as I have loved you.’  You are my friends if you follow my example, says Jesus.  The laying down of lives to which we are called is in the pattern of Jesus who refused to take up the sword against his enemies.  It has nothing to do with taking up arms to destroy the enemy.

What to preach on for Anzac Day? – Anglican Church League, Sydney, Australia : Anglican Church League, Sydney, Australia (

  Anzac Day is not the anniversary of the first involvement of Australian armed forces in WW1.  A six-inch gun at Fort Nepean, at the entrance to Port Phillip Bay in Victoria, fired Australia’s first shot of the war when the German merchant ship SS Pfalz attempted to escape from Port Philip Bay on 5 August 1914, the very day that Australia declared war on Germany.  (Military history of Australia during World War I – Wikipedia)  On 6th September 1914, gunfire from HMAS Melbourne destroyed a radio mast at the wireless station on the island of Nauru, then a German territory.  On 11th September 1914, two parties of Naval reservists landed at Kabakaul and Kokopo on what is now New Britain, to capture another German wireless station.  (The Australian Encyclopedia Vol IX p393 & 394) 

  However, the 1915 Anzac campaign proved to be an important moment in the history of Australian self-definition and the development of the national identity.  In spite of their losses in the battles on the Gallipoli peninsula, the ANZAC servicemen and many Australians and New Zealanders saw this battle as the start of the ANZAC spirit, the Australasian ideal based on the “mateship” and cheerful suffering that the forces showed during this campaign  (ANZAC Day in Australia (  , of maintaining a humane attitude towards others in the face of such inhumane circumstances of unbelievable hardship and trauma and violence experienced in wars.

  So, is this a central focus of our Anzac Day commemorations? 

  Rev Dr Graham Hill, Assoc. Professor at Stirling Theological College, argues that;

“For many people, Anzac Day (and other such events) are part of a broader search for meaning and identity.  Some suggest this is the reason so many Millennials are involved in Anzac Day, and why it now rivals religious holidays.  People are asking a lot of significant questions.  Who am I?  Who am I in this culture?  How do I relate to my society and its past?  What is my place in life?  How do I understand myself and my purpose in life, especially considering historical events?  What have people given up for me, and how do I respond?  What does it mean to relate to a story and tradition that’s greater than myself?  What unites me to others in my society, when we may not share the same faith, outlook, or worldview?  All these are natural questions.  It makes sense that people ask such questions on occasions like Anzac Day.”

12 Ways Christians Can Respond to Anzac Day (and Other Commemorative Events) | Graham Hill (

  But can such a spirit of “mateship” be easily translated from the hostile circumstances of wartime to the non-hostile circumstances of ‘normal Society’?  If such a spirit of ‘mateship’ was developed in the exceptional circumstances of the horrors of war, why should we expect that those who have not experienced the horrors of war develop this same spirit of ‘mateship?  Should we expect that such a spirit of ‘mateship’ be shared by people from indigenous and non-European cultures?  Should we expect that such a spirit of ‘mateship’ be shared by females, for those who experienced the horrors of war were predominantly male? 

  Rev Dr Graham Hill warns us of the dangers of confusing our national/ethnic identity and our Christian identity, and of the need to ensure that our Australian identity does not take ascendency over our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ.   In Ephesians 2:15, Paul talks about God forming a “new humanity in Jesus Christ.”  “What Paul means is that Jesus Christ has done away with the old divisions and enmities.  He has united Jews and Gentiles as one new and undivided Humanity in him, through his death and resurrection.  This is a new creation in Christ.  God has made for himself one new people out of the two.  Christ has abolished the old divisions and identities based on culture, politics, race, religion, law, gender, social standing, and so on.  “Christ is all in all,” and has brought us together, from every nation, language, and people, as “one new people”, our primary identity is in Christ.  Jesus calls us to shape new identities, as the new humanity in Christ. This new identity forges new allegiances and new social imaginations.  It nurtures a deep commitment to grace, forgiveness, and love.  In a world full of division and conflict, the Church needs to embrace the ministry of reconciliation and peacemaking.  God calls us to be a peaceable people who display unity in diversity under Christ.  How do we celebrate this on Anzac Day?”  12 ways Christians can respond to Anzac Day & other commemorative events.

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Say thankyou to veterans for their service and sacrifice.

Remember those who still bear the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual scars of war.

Remember those who waited in vain for the return of someone they loved.

Say thankyou to those who work to foster peace and reconciliation.

Remind others that through God’s grace and power bad things can be redeemed for good.

Use every opportunity to witness to God’s love and to God’s desire to end all wars.

  How are we, as a worshipping People of God, to approach the celebration of Anzac Day?  Here are 6 suggestions.

  Anzac Day isn’t about honouring war.  War isn’t something we need or want to honour.  War is horrific.  But Anzac Day does give us a chance to honour the valour and remember the losses of so many who fought and suffered in war.  And we can do that without romanticising conflict.  We recognise that many horrible and unspeakable things were done in war.  Yet, we honour the bravery, dreams, and sacrifices of those who fought and suffered for freedoms, ideals, hopes, and people they loved dearly.  Whether we are a pacifist or a person that believes that we can justify conflict in certain circumstances, we can still honour those who have gone before and given and sacrificed so much.

  When soldiers come home, they often bring the war home with them. Aside from physical injuries, many suffer psychological and emotional wounds. Many suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Then there’s the spiritual toll war takes on soldiers.  How do you maintain faith within the horrors of war, or while you struggle with PTSD, depression, or a disability?  Veterans (and their families) need a lot of love and support when they serve and when they return home.  Anzac Day gives us a chance to remember those who still bear these sufferings, and to pray for them, and support them, and love them.

  There’s the fear and anxiety while the loved one is away at a time of armed conflict.  There’s the shock, depression, and anger if that person is killed.  During Anzac Day, we remember and pray for the families who waited, in vain for the return of a loved one.

  We can also honour the courage, sacrifices, and passions of those who spent (and are currently spending) their lives preventing wars and conflicts.  We honour their bravery and sacrifice, as they work tirelessly to prevent conflict and to foster a spirit of forgiveness, peace, hospitality and reconciliation.  We need to believe that empathy, kindness and listening can create a society where terrorism and violence are no longer a threat.

12 ways Christians can respond to Anzac Day & other commemorative events.

  Professor Tom Frame spent 15 years in the Navy, was Anglican Bishop to the Australian Defence Force for 6 years, and is currently director of the Australia Centre for the Study of Armed Conflict and Society.  He makes the comment that in the 1920’s, in the years soon after World War 1, the original Anzac Day services were very much church-led, and, in those days, they were much like an annual funeral service.  “The [national] sense of mourning and grief was so acute.  It was the right thing for the Churches to take a leading role in helping people come to terms with their grief.  “A lot of what sustained the Anzacs was the Christian story of suffering, redemption and resurrection – that there is a possibility that, through God’s grace and power, when bad things happen they can be redeemed for good.  “If Christian churches aren’t able to put a good message in this context then I think a great opportunity to witness to the grace and power of God has been overlooked.”

Do Faith and Anzac Day Mix? Here’s What 3 Christians Think – Hope 103.2 (

  Let us not overlook the opportunity given to the Church on Anzac Day to be the one group in our Society who can give people hope in the bad times.

  Joan Beaumont, in her book, ”Broken Nation: Australians in the Great War(Allen & Unwin: Crows Nest, Sydney, 2013), makes the comment:

“The Anzac Day program in 1916 was designed by a Church of England clergyman for a society who mostly came from a Christian background.  Yet it needed to be a moderate form of Christian expression to avoid dissension between the denominations and also cater for those who had little or no faith.  The success of the program was due to the fact that Christianity breathed softly through the program.”

The Anzac Day Silence, Religion and Garland | Stumbling Through the Past (

  This is reminiscent of Paul’s comment to the Church in Corinth that:

“I become all things to all people, that I may save some of them by whatever means are possible.”  (1 Corinthians 9: 22) 

  Whatever the format of the Anzac Day Service, whatever the restrictions on what may be said at an Anzac Day service, let us not overlook the opportunity given to the Church on Anzac Day to breath Christianity softly in all that we do and say, to witness to the love and grace of God, His desire for an end to all wars and armed conflict, and His offer of reconciliation with Him and reconciliation between ourselves.

  Reason enough to participate on Anzac Day.  Amen.


“Fold to your heart your sister and your brother”  TiS587  AHB503  MHB911

[sung to the tune Sandringham – This is the best YouTube that I could find for this tune that is of sufficient length for 4 verses.  This YouTube is for another hymn, so ignore the verbal introduction]

Verse 1 of 4

Fold to your heart your sister and your brother;

Where pity dwells, the peace of God is there;

To worship rightly is to love each other,

Each smile a hymn, each kindly deed a prayer.

Verse 2 of 4

For they whom Jesus loved have truly spoken:

The holier worship which He deigns to bless

Restores the lost, and binds the spirit broken,

And feeds the widow and the fatherless.

Verse 3 of 4

Follow with reverent steps the great example

Of him whose holy work was doing good;

So shall the wide Earth seem our Father’s temple,

Each living life a psalm of gratitude.

Verse 4 of 4

Then shall all shackles fall: the stormy clangour

Of wild war music o’er the Earth shall cease;

Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger,

And in its ashes plant the tree of peace.

John Whittier


Offering Prayer    

“For the life that you have given”  TiS774 

[to be sung to the tune ‘Austria’ – refer to TiS772]

[disregard the words shown on the YouTube recording – only the one verse is needed]

For the life that you have given,

For the love in Christ made known,

With these fruits of time and labour,

With these gifts that are your own:

Here we offer, Lord, our praises;

Heart and mind and strength we bring;

Give us grace to love and serve you,

Living what we pray and sing.

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Prayers for Others

Let us come before God with our cares and our concerns. 

Almighty God, we bring to you our thanks today for the peace and security that we enjoy, which was won for us through the courage and devotion of those who gave their service and their lives in time of war.  Make us good stewards of the freedom they won.  We pray that their labour and sacrifice may not be in vain, but that their spirit of sacrifice and giving may live on in us and in generations to come.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who suffer from the effects of war; the loss of home or livelihood, the loss of friends and loved ones, the loss of happiness or security, those crippled or maimed in body as well as in spirit, those who suffer nightmares that years of peace cannot rub out.  Comfort their hearts and grant them your peace and healing.  We pray for those who are bitter about their loss and suffering, and who find it difficult to forgive those who have wronged them.  Heal their hearts and uphold them in your grace.  We pray for the homeless and the refugees; those who have been dispossessed, those families whose lives have been disrupted.  Grant them the means to start anew, provide stability for them with new homes and new communities and new jobs.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, in whose hands are the destinies of this and every nation, we pray for justice for those who have been wronged by the violent actions of armed forces, for those who have suffered loss and have experienced oppression at the hands of other peoples and Nations intent on undertaking violent armed acts of hatred over racial, tribal or ethnic differences, or for personal glory or political gain, or out of envy or greed, or who make war in revenge for long-held grievances.  Pass your judgement upon those who instigate and prolong wars and armed conflicts.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for all who serve in the defence forces of this land.  Give them courage and comfort in danger, patience in waiting, and discipline in the just use of force, so as to counter acts of hatred and oppression upon the innocent and defenceless.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

In this troubled world we pray for peace.  May we be inspired by the determination of those who have served in the fight for freedom, justice and peace.  Give your Spirit of peace to all people and remove from them the spirit that makes for war, that all may live as members of your family.  Prosper the work of those who preserve human rights, promote the pursuit of those who work for reconciliation and justice, and direct us into the ways of understanding, reconciliation and respect.  May we learn to break down fear and ignorance, and to build up cooperation and harmony amongst peoples everywhere.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We pray for aid agencies and their workers in conflict zones, protect them from harm and bless their work among the needy.  We pray for the members of peacekeeping forces working under the direction of The United Nations, seeking to bring enemies together for an end to wars, seeking to work to resolve conflict without violence, protect them from harm and sustain their efforts towards promoting peace.  Lord, have mercy.

Lord, hear our prayer.

Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, we remember with thanksgiving those who made the supreme sacrifice for us in time or war. We pray that the offering of their lives may not have been in vain.  Deliver us from the bonds of hatred against those who are hostile towards us, gives us the strength to discard the power of revenge.  Save us from valuing national identity more highly than shared humanity.  May your grace enable us this day to dedicate ourselves to the cause of justice, freedom and peace; and give us the wisdom and strength to build a better world, for the honour and glory of your Name.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

We especially pray for Patricia, who is currently in an induced coma, as those who are tending to her medical needs determine an appropriate manner in which to treat her illness.  We pray for guidance for them so that they will know the right approach to take so as to bring healing and wholeness to her.  Lord, hear us.

Lord, hear our prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil,

For the Kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,

Now and forever.  Amen.


“O God of love, whose heart is ever yearning”  TiS614

[sung to the tune Finlandia – there is an introduction]

[I like this recording of the above tune, but it is for another hymn with 4 verses, so you will need to stop the recording after the third verse]

O God of love, whose heart is ever yearning

That fixed on you our wayward thoughts may be,

Now grant us grace to live as in your presence,

And help us all our erring ways to see.

May love subdue the ill in every nation,

And all to you as subjects bow the knee.

Verse 2 of 3

O Father God, moved ever by compassion

For children crushed by sorrow’s heavy load,

Be swift to aid the downcast and the cheerless,

Lift up the fallen on life’s thorny road.

Give calm and strength to overcome with patience,

And safely bring them to your blest abode.

Verse 3 of 3

O God of peace, whose Son with our sins laden

Died to secure from bondage our release,

Help us to banish hate between the nations,

To live as neighbours, and make wars to cease.

Bring in the reign of friendship universal,

And in your mercy grant us your peace.

Randall Pittman


As you leave this place let us not glorify war with its horrors and tragedies, but let us remember those who you have never meet, but who sacrificed everything for freedom, justice and humanity.  Whoever you meet, wherever you travel in this dark world around us, speak words of God’s love and peace.  As pilgrims of reconciliation on the way to the promised end, may those who sacrificed so much for neighbours and for strangers, be our example.  May you be instruments of Christ, to work for him and to bear witness to him.  

And may the blessing of God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, rest upon you and remain with you always.  Amen.

Benediction Song

“May the grace of Christ our Saviour”  TiS777

[sung to the tune Waltham – there is no introduction]

Verse 1 of 2

May the grace of Christ our Saviour,

And the Father’s boundless love,

With the Holy Spirit’s favour,

Rest upon us from above.

Verse 2 of 2

Thus may we abide in union

With each other and the Lord,

And possess in sweet communion

Joys which Earth cannot afford.

John Newton