74th YEAR INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
INTERDEPENDENCE AND IN-DEPENDENCE ON GOD
This year, India celebrates her 74th Independence Day on August 15th 2020. India accomplished freedom after a long Independence movement, which started in the year 1857 and ended with the formation of Independent India in the year 1947 marking the end of British rule. The struggle for freedom was a long and tiresome one. Thousands of people have laid down their lives on the line so that our country breathes this day. The tricolor flag of India that is hoisted in this day engraves the feeling of patriotism in the heart and minds of every Indian and showcases the feeling of gratitude to all the freedom fighters. Till last year, we celebrated Independence Day by hoisting the National Tricolor; put up saffron, white and green decorations; march in parades without any fear of apprehension.
Some disasters bring us together and they are beyond human endurance. Both natural and manmade disasters can have a longer impact on human lives. When a disaster happens, we draw closer to one another recognizing perhaps our common vulnerability. We have witnessed and heard in the past that during such situations, positive prayer and positive thinking triumphed over what circumstances seemed to be very heavily favouring namely shaken faith and negative thinking.
In recent days, global Coronavirus pandemic has had a life-changing impact on people around the world. We are in a time of crisis where there is a threat to public health. Covid-19 Pandemic is a crisis with different colours. Its victims are infectious and possibly fatal too. In the midst of all uncertainties of fear and anxieties, the commitment of our frontline warriors is highly commendable. Without their untiring service, the suffering and the fatality toll would have been much greater today. They are like our freedom fighters in the past whose braveries are stronger than their fear. The debt the citizens owes them is beyond measure.
In the present scenario, the natural, instinctive and, from a purely practical point of view, rational response was encapsulated through the Covid-19 buzz words and definitions – ‘Maintain social and physical distancing’, ‘stay at home’, ‘wear a mask’ and ‘get away from me.’ It’s not a mean-spiritedness, but self-protection. The result is an extraordinary rise in living alone in the modern world.
In the light of the above reality, the danger of the spirit of independence can degenerate into what once commonly referred to as “Social Darwinism,” which applies the Darwinian principle of the survival of the fittest to groupings within Society and Church. Also, selfishness over the others. If some groups fall by the wayside, so be it, as long as my family and my community are safe.
What Independence Day should inspire us all is some deeper reflections on the most effective antidote to Social Darwinism, namely, the spirit of Interdependence and in-dependence on God which is essential to Christian ideology. The Covid-19 continues to impact communities around the world, people are coming together to help one another now more than ever.
Jesus left us two great commandments: love of God and love of neighbor. The “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 20:2), John the Apostle and Evangelist, elaborated upon Jesus’ teaching in his first letter.
“Whoever says he (or she) is in the light, yet hates his brother (or sister), is still in the darkness” 1 John 2:9. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:7,8,12
During this Independence Day let us learn to be interdependent and in-dependent on God because dependence on God is an opportunity. We have this one opportunity and no other to put our trust in God. My friend, let’s make the most of it and remember the light at the end of this (Pandemic) tunnel when it comes, will not come cheap.
Our history taught us never to lose hope no matter how tough the situation is. And we have the God who can change impossible situations. God created the universe, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the God of all wisdom and justice, this God invites us to speak our mind, to share with Him our thoughts, our feelings, our fears, and our dreams. The more we reflect on this invitation, the more we’ll come to realize just how amazing it is to depend on God and inter-depend on our fellow beings. I would like to conclude with these beautiful words by Don Moen, “God will make a way, where there seems to be no way. He works in ways we cannot see... He will make a way for me. He will be my Guide.. Hold me closely to His side; with love and strength. For each new day, He will make a way ... God will make a way.”
Rev. Sudhakara Raju
Manager - Church Relations & Resource Mobilisation Department