The image is the war memorial in Te Aroha. I was there recently and was struck by the light in the sky and took this photograph using my phone. I was amazed by the circle of light which emerged directly over the head of the soldier which I never saw with my naked eye. I find it extremely evocative. Those who sacrificed their lives are illuminated by heavenly light and today we honour and remember them.
The Gospel for Good Shepherd Sunday is taken from John 10:11-18 where Jesus says...'the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.' That laying down of his life is for the sake of you and me and for all those gone before us including those who sacrificed and laid down their lives in the field of battle. Christ's free laying down of his life was out of love and mercy for us and if we follow after him he will lead us to greener pastures beside peaceful waters.
I have a sense that Christ today as the Good Shepherd lifts and embraces all the fallen. With him who knows us intimately, there is no unknown soldier and he continues to hold and embrace all those caught up in the carnage of war. His concern knows no bounds.
Listen to 'Sons of Gallipoli' from 'Serenity.'