Our Motherland India has often been described as a bouquet in which a myriad flowers bloom; of every shade, shape and fragrance. Indeed India as a multi-religious, multi-lingual, multi-ethnic country is unique in the comity of nations.
Yet, in recent times, there is a concerted attempt to straight jacket all – in one color, one ideology, one belief, one diet, one culture, one language, one unique identity and even one civil code. This is contrary to nature and our national ethos. As a consequence, there are growing social tensions, simmering discontent, hatred, animosity, fear, suspicion and intolerance. Can the Christians of India remain mute spectators to what is happening, hiding behind the fig leaf of our miniscule numbers, or waiting for somebody else to take the plunge?
As Christians it is our duty to be harbingers of peace, filled with hope, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah had prophesied that Jesus was the Prince of Peace, who would convert swords into ploughshares, where lions would eat straw, and a little child would put its hand into the snake’s nest. At Christmas the angels heralded Peace. Peace was Jesus’ parting gift to his disciples, and his greeting after the Resurrection. Peace is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so all Christians are called to be peace makers (shantidoots).
Squadron Leader N.V. John of the Indian Air Force, a professed atheist, “died” in a near fatal air crash in 1982. In death he encountered life, and was “resurrected” as Acharya Sachidananda Bharati (aka Air Force Baba). He quit the IAF and devoted the rest of his life to walking in the footsteps of Sadguru Jesus. To this end he has founded several ashrams to promote communal harmony, and has an inter-religious campaign for happy childhood for those below 18 years of age.
He now feels inspired to organize a National Seminar on “Christian Leadership for a Culture of Peace”. This will be held from 13th to 15th April (both days inclusive) at Navjivan Renewal Centre, St Xavier’s School campus, Delhi.
This then is an open invitation to all Christian leaders, social activists, journalists etc to come together at the feet of the Lord in prayer, to share their experiences and pool their talents, in order to build up a task force of peace makers (shantidoots). Faced with the magnitude of the problem we often feel helpless, like frogs in our own little wells. If we emerge from our shells we can draw strength and inspiration from each other. Let us “Listen to what the Spirit is saying to the Churches”. Let us say “Maranatha” – come Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Everyday is Christmas, Good Friday, Easter and Pentecost.
If you feel called to join this humble effort to promote a culture of peace in our beloved Motherland then please contact any of the following for more details and registration:
Acharya Sachidananda Bharati firstname.lastname@example.org 8281874941
Sdk Thomas John Satyanand email@example.com 8668910057/ 9072119598
chhotebhai firstname.lastname@example.org 9415130822
It is up to us to make a myriad flowers bloom, lest they be reduced to faded and jaded blossoms in the dust.