Pilgrim Uniting Church, Adelaide SA
SUN 25-APR-2021 - 11.00 AM Sermon
Rev Dr Greg Elsdon
Easter 4 – Anzac Day – Wherever there is a monument or a plaque commemorating those who have lost there lives as a result of armed conflict, you will probably find the words, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". The words are almost synonymous with Anzac Day, and they seem appropriate for the dignity of the occasion. But what was the provenance of those words – are they actually appropriate? They can be found in John's gospel, Chapter 15, and in their original setting they have nothing at all to do with war. They are about the death of Jesus, who was explaining to his disciples what he was doing. It's about the humility of Jesus, and it wasn't intended to legitimise violence in the name of religion, or provide a strategy for justifying a nation's war effort. Christian faith does have much to say to those who grieve and mourn, and it protests about lives being lost in such a manner and on such a horrendous scale. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus exhorts his followers to love not only their neighbours, but their enemies as well. Paul teaches that it is God who takes the initiative in making friends out of enemies. Reconciliation means ongoing friendships between people who were enemies. Former enemies are not only to be loved, but lived with as well. A suggested memorial inscription: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life in seeking reconciliation with others." May it be so.
John 10: 11-18

Playing Time   –   18:24