7. THE COLOURFULNESS OF LIFE

There’s a reality show on television in Indonesia called “Hitam Putih” or “Black & White”. Our life has more than two colors, it’s colorful. It means that each one of us have our own experiences. In this short article, I will share the colorfulness of life, its cause, purpose, and how to respond it align with God’s words.

The Forms of Life

In the Bible, the colorfulness of life shown in the lives of good people in the Old and New Testament. Shortly, we can witness bunch of people’s experiences in the Old Testament through Hebrews 11, which are:

  • Abel killed by his brother, Cain, because he brought God a better offering than Cain did (verse 4). The color of Abel’s life: persecuted as a righteous man.
  • Noah, built an ark to save his family even though he warned about things not yet seen, which is God’s plan to condemn the world with the flood (verse 7). The color of Noah’s life: He’s prepared to be misunderstood because of his faith.
  • Abraham, he waited for God’s promises to enable Sarah to bear children and experienced a great deal of dilemma where God asks him to offer Isaac, his one and only son (verse 8-19). The color of Abraham’s life: ready to bear the risk because of his faith.
  • Moses accepted a formidable task to lead God’s chosen people out of Egypt (verse 23-29). The color of Moses’s life: an excessive burden as a leader.
  • Gideon, Samuel, David, and the other names also have a very mixed color of life (verse 32-40).

In the New Testament, there was John the Baptist who beheaded as a martyr because he preached the gospel, by King Herod’s cruelty (Matthew 14: 1-12). Then there was a woman who struggled for her sickness, so he touched the edge of His cloak (Matthew 9: 20-22). There was also Nicodemus who longed to be saved but bound and burdened by religious life (John 3:1-21). A Samaritan woman who hid from people for her condition, but then God restored her life (John 4). There was Stephen, people stoned him because he testify for the Lord (Acts 7:54-60), and many more.

From the stories along with our experiences, we know that life is full of joy and sorrow, lack and abundance, cries and laughter, storm and serenity, etc.

Cause and Purpose

Why is our life colorful? The Bible set out some reasons: first, God created it: seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night (Genesis 8:22). Second, there’s free will that God has put to humans when He creates us (Genesis 1:26-28). It’s unfortunate when Adam and Eve, misuse it by defying God’s will, when it supposed to bring God’s glory. Third, balance and harmony. It’s like a song. There’re different notes and even minor chords. But when it all combines, will form a beautiful song.

Meanwhile, the colorfulness of life also have purposes: first, God works all those colors for the good of those who love Him, to be a beautiful rainbow of life (Romans 8:28). Second, with all of those colors, the human can share their personal life experience to inspire others, to be a wiser human being.

by: peter freshman

M A R Y

…and He will be caleed Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 – NIV)

The Apostle Paul once said: “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, and made under the law” (Galatians 4:4 – KJV), has a very deep truth.

First, miraculous birth of Jesus Christ pertained to His own timing. He never fails on setting the timeline. When the Emperor August ruled Rome, Maria was engaged with Joseph, and King Herod ruled over Judea, God was in control in all of these events. And all things work together for good to those who Love God (Romans 8:28). God is never too soon or too fast on doing His plan.

Second, miraculous birth of Jesus Christ was God’s own will. Jesus Christ came to the world because The Lord sent Him, what conceived in Mary is not due to her relationship with Joseph, but it’s from the Holy Spirit. First, we need to understand this then we can receive all of the God’s works in our lives. We can only say as Mary said to Gabriel, “I am the Lord’s servant, may Your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38 – NIV). As a servant, we can’t determine anything according to our own will, as well as the miracles. Let The Lord declare His miracles according to His.

Third, the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ through a virgin who’s willing to sacrifice and being used by God. Mary was a Godly woman, and she keeps her holiness alive. She’s giving up her womb to give birth to a Savior. With her willingness, Mary is ready to bear all the Nazareth’s assumptions. As a virgin, if she is found to be pregnant, she could die stoned in front of the crowd. But Mary was willing to endure it all because she loved God. He was also willing to travel far: from Nazareth to Bethlehem, from Bethlehem to Egypt, and from Egypt back to Nazareth. It’s not a short distance, because there was no transportation as advanced as now. However, her sacrifice is not worthless. Jesus Christ has come to the world and become the Savior to all humanity.

Fourth, the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ occurred in the conquest of the law. That means God declares His miracles without giving any damage or dismantle what once He has set. God intended the law Himself. He knows that humans would not be able to practice the law by themselves and that’s why He came to fulfill it. Of course, first he was born from the virgin Mary and practice the law. Renewal and transformation in life do not have to destroy what already exists, but in the meantime perfecting it.

Many people expected miracles to happen in Indonesia. Unfortunately, they destroyed orders and even public facilities. As a result, there’s no transformation or renewal. Instead, the government must issue the cost of renovation and reparation. There’re rules and procedures that we need to obey if we expected renewal and transformation. God can still reveal His miracles without giving any damage to things that already existed.

by: peter freshman

This article can be read in BAHASA INDONESIA

POLITICAL EDUCATION TO YOUNG GENERATION

Democracy Education

Introduction

We’re Indonesian, part of a democratic state in the form of republic. Note that our nation use Pancasila as its main value. Proven that in the Opening of 1945 Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia stated, “…therefore the independence of Indonesia shall be formulated into a constitution of the Republic of Indonesia which shall be built into a sovereign state based on a belief in the One and Only God, just and civilised humanity, the unity of Indonesia, and democratic life led by wisdom of thoughts in deliberation amongst representatives of the people, and achieving social justice for all the people of Indonesia.”

Democracy itself is “a system of government in which people are entitled to vote and take part in decisions – directly or by representative – in the formulation, development, and regulation making process”. Democracy includes social, economic, and cultural conditions that allow the practice of political freedom freely and equally.

In general, democracy has four important aspects: election, participation, protection, and justice. Early education is necessary for all the citizen to understand the importance of these aspects, which we should take part in it.

Democracy Education

While carrying out democracy education for the four points mentioned above, things to be understood that:

  • Democracy process happens gradually and continually.
  • Democracy process is evolutionary, in the sense of taking it slow.
  • Democracy is a medium to achieve a smooth transformation without violence.
  • Democracy happens deliberately to achieve agreement.

Democracy education performs in various contexts, formal education (school, college), non-formal education (nonscholastic course), and informal education (multicultural society, relationships). Following are some democracy education forms we could perform:

  1. Election –Early childhood education is necessary to teach them in decision making. We can give them several options or alternatives, educate them to see both the negative and positive sides of the options. Furthermore, children must learn to choose according to their personal preferences along with the risks. For example: decide a holiday spot, major in college. Compare with Joshua who give options to Israellites about to whom they will serve. “…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15 – NIV). Children must be educated to respect other people’s choices. They can’t impose their will but must perform flexibility, so the decisions were made voluntarily. Sooner or later, they’ll able to pick the right decisions and be responsible for electing the future leaders.

 

  1. Participation – Children and young generation must be included in most activities at home, church, school, and in society. They can’t be a mere spectator or commentator, but must involve themselves according to their interests. It starts with a small part. If you have been faithful with a few things, God will put you in charge of many things (Matthew 25:21 – NIV). Sooner or later, they’ll have a great sense of nationalism and will be involved in parties (regional parliamentary elections, as well as presidential election). At the future, they’ll become a part of national activities, and it opens up the chances like Daniel who become God’s loyal witness in government.

 

  1. Protection – Children must learn how to respect and to defend someone weaker. They are educated not to bully their peers, besides protect and respect them as the fellow of God’s most precious creation. Sooner or later, they’ll learn how to protect the minority in their society: from the ethnic minority, social-economy (the poor ones), people who have no access to higher education, to religious minority. Jesus Himself had compassion on the poor because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a sepherd (Matthew 9:36).

 

  1. Justice – Children and young generations are guided to act justly in taking actions. Start from entrusting them with a simple law case, and ask them to conclude what is right and what is wrong. Appreciate them if they deserve it, and give penalty or punishment if they did wrong. On a higher level, entrust them with a case where one of the disputants is their friends, will they able to remain fair? Sooner or later, they’ll be able to do it, as well as God Himself is just, He requires us to act justly (Micah 6:8).

Democracy education can’t be just learning to know, but it has to be learning to do, learning to be, and learning to live together in any fields.

Democracy Education Constraints and Solutions

Democracy education is not an easy task to do. There are some difficulties, which need further attention and we need to look for its solutions. First, the intervention of foreign culture, if we’re not careful, it could affect our nation’s nature of democracy. Second, people lack models in state officials, those who sit in the executive, legislative, and judicial fields. Models are necessary for every aspect of life, family, and school. In the old church, parents, teachers, and the servants of God are the closest ones to the children. Third, parents are unwilling to spare enough time to teach their children. Overworked is the main reason. For parents, it’s necessary to have various roles, so their kids are educated in the faith and cultivated the high sense of nationalism at once, so later in the future, they become a democratic person no matter where they work and live.

Closing

Once again, democracy education is not a simple process, it has to be performed gradually. So that later, the generations who are brave to make decisions for nations, actively involved and care as a responsible netizen, defend the poor, and act justly to everyone without exception will arise. When they appear as a democratic individual, that pleased God, it will make a turnover to Indonesia. Our nations will become one great nation.

by: peter freshman

This article can be read ini BAHASA INDONESIA