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“Flagging” the lessons from the Indian Tri-color!!!





Happy Independence Day for all the Fellow-citizens’ of our great country who are reading this article. Every free nation of the world has its own flag. It is a symbol of a free country. Permit me to trace the origin of our beautiful and meaningful National Flag. Well, it was designed by Pingali Venkayya (Hey, all Telugu-speaking people can be proud of this) who hailed from Machilipatnam of Krishna District in Andhra. The Flag design was adopted in its present form during the meeting of Constituent Assembly held on the 22 July 1947, a few days before India's independence from the British on 15 August, 1947. It served as the national flag of the Dominion of India between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950 and that of the Republic of India thereafter. In India, the term "tricolour" refers to the Indian national flag.

The National flag of India is a horizontal tricolor of deep saffron (kesari) at the top, white in the middle and dark green at the bottom in equal proportion. The ratio of width of the flag to its length is two to three. In the centre of the white band is a navy blue wheel having 24 spokes which represents the chakra. Its design is that of the wheel which appears on the abacus of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka.

We Christians whilst remembering that our citizenship lies above (Phillippians 3:20) ought not to forget to pray continuously also for the welfare of the Nation, where God in His sovereign wisdom has placed us here down below in this World (Jeremiah 29:7/ 1 Tim 2:1-5), besides honoring its National Flag. Our loyalty for our homeland on Earth should be second only to that which we have reserved in our hearts for the One above.

Now are there any lessons to be learnt for Christians from the different colors of our National Flag especially in the context of our Nation’s Second Preisident (also a noted philosopher) Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s observations about the significance of its different colors? Obviously these thoughts of our erudite Second President would have been in sync with that of the venerable designer of the Flag.

Sacrifice…



Yes…firstly Bhagwa or the saffron colour says Radhakrishnan denotes renunciation or disinterestedness. Our leaders must be indifferent to material gains and dedicate themselves to their work.

Well, the Indian Sadhus’ don the Saffron dress, primarily to convey their renunciation of their worldly desires. Didn’t highly respected Indian Christian Sadhu namely Sundar Singh also toe the same line?

While all Christians’ may not be wearing saffron dress, they should wear their Christian priorities as it were, on their sleeve for the world around to see. Apostle Paul wasn’t exactly beating around the bush when he proclaimed that because of the Cross of Christ, he was crucified to the World and the World to him (Gal 6:14). World here of course means all that appeals to the fallen carnal nature (Romans 13:14 NKJV) and not necessarily to some legitimate joys which the good Lord permits in order we live an abundant life down here even whilst making plans for the One above (I Tim 4:1-4 TLB).

The indispensable Cross-bearing (Luke 9:23) in a Christian’s life essentially means putting upon the sacrificial altar (by the power our Saviour supplies) all that hinders God’s work in our lives. It entails such complete dependence on the Almighty that after sometime we find that the good Lord is all we need in our Earthly sojourn so much so Sadhu Sundar Singh wisely observed “Cross bears all those who bear it”.

Sanctity…



Regarding the White band in our revered National Flag over to the inimitable Sarvepalli once again…“The white in the centre is light, the path of truth to guide our conduct.” Indian Government officials and Politicians, make note, when you are saluting the National Flag on I-Day, you are vowing to live by the ideals it espouses. It would be a matter of great shame if the hand used in saluting it, is soiled in collecting bribes the very next day.

Ah the key operative words…guide the conduct… what should be the guide in other words the driving force behind all of Christian conduct? Make no mistake… “Out of sheer love for Christ, whatever we do should be for the glory of God” (I Cor 5:14/ I Cor 10:31). When Jesus comes into our lives, he doesn’t come to be a mere resident but to be the President. He is either the Lord of every area of our lives rendering it Holy or He is not the Lord at all. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing else!!!

Stride…



Hmmm…regarding the Chakra (Wheel) in the Indian Flag notes our erudite Second President “…the wheel denotes motion. There is death in stagnation. There is life in movement. India should no more resist change, it must move and go forward. The wheel represents the dynamism of a peaceful change.”

What a lesson for all of us, God’s children!!! We are who are saved need to remember we have been saved from sin to become Christ-like adding other virtues’ to our Saving faith (2 Peter 1:5-13). In this “sanctification” process, we need to co-operate with our guide and teacher the indwelling Holy Spirit (John 16:13) as he changes us into Christ-like image step by step (2 Cor 3:18) in order we exhibit more and more of Holy “Fruit” (Gal 5:22-23) in us.

Apostle Paul’s life shaped by his noble desire to make constant “progress” in his “pilgrimage” (Phil 3:12-14) is a classic case in point, when it comes to growing in the fruit of the Spirit…in this instance… meekness. Consider this…in 55 AD after he had been mightily used by God to establish many Churches’ in Asia and Europe…whilst writing to the Corinthian Church he calls himself as nothing more than the “least of the Apostles” (1 Cor 15:9), later on with the “wheels of time” turning and a time lapse of 5 years, whilst penning an Epistle to the Ephesian Church , he calls himself as the “least of the Saints” (Eph 3:8) and finally towards the end of his life whilst writing to his spiritual son Timothy in 64 AD, he most humbly reserves the title “chief of sinners” to himself. Now how’s that for growth in humility! Dear Friends, while Gifts of the Holy Spirit are temporal (given for making one’s ministry effective in this side of the Eternity), the Fruit of the Spirit is Eternal. Given the choice, let’s always opt for the better part…a la Mary of Bethany (Luke 10:38-42).

Stockpile…



Over to our scholarly second president for one last time…regarding the “green band” in our Tri-color he says…"The green shows,… our relation to the plant life here, on which all other life depends."

Hey, didn’t the Bible originally say God created the “stage” first -the very n “Garden of Eden” - before bringing the principal Actor (Adam) onto it. In the Biblical context Green and plant life has also been used in connection with the rich harvest of souls (read stockpiling of souls- John 4:35 NIV).

As Christians if we live a life of consistent cross-bearing empowered (from within) by Christ’s love for the glory of God making steady progress always in display of Eternal Fruit of the Spirit, would not our lives be a source of attraction for several unbelievers drawing them to Christ. While all Christians’ are not called to preach, are not all of us called for witnessing through lip and exemplary lifestyle (Acts 19:19-20)?

If our testimony stands out, whatever be our age, we would always be green bearing fruit for the Master (Psa 92:14-15).

Say fellow sojourner how are you faring on the Sacrifice, Sanctity, “Striding forward” and “Stockpiling the souls” front?

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY ONCE AGAIN TO ONE AND ALL!!!


Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant



Ps… All those whose heart the Lord is touching say this Prayer right where you are…”Father, I confess I am a Sinner. Cloth me with Your Priceless Robes of Righteousness which Your Son Jesus Christ has purchased for me in the Cross. Fill my heart with the joy of Your Spirit. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.