Heroes and monuments say a lot about a nation. America has the massive marble statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln memorial. Scotland has William Wallace and his 5’6” sword. Britain is littered with monuments to conquerors such as Wellington, Nelson, Churchill. In Australia – where are our monuments capturing our great moments?
Across our country crowds large and small gather around humble pillars or statues on which are written the names of ordinary people. Everybody who left our shores to fight in our World Wars is named and those who did not return have a star beside their name. These often-lonely pillars are surrounded by a quiet, sombre company on Anzac Day dawn. During the dawn service these words are recited:
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
Something about this describes who we want to be as Australians. As you know, the original quote was from Jesus. The love of Jesus goes further. Jesus lay his life down for his enemies so that they might become friends. His story of self-sacrifice has inspired women and men throughout history to extraordinary service, not just for their friends, even for their so-called enemies.
This is the intent of Christ’s command. We would love others as Jesus has loved our world. We would use our lives for the good of others. Our world does not need more wars. Although while evil abounds in the hearts of people and we are this side of heaven we will not find complete peace. The world does need greater love.