On the Easter this year, Gereja FOCUS Indonesia joined a 4-day church camp with the other FOCUS churches of UNSW at Port Hacking Conference Centre. For the first time in the history of FOCUS church camps, all the talks and study materials are focused on, instead of a particular topic, a particular book of the Bible: Isaiah. The theme was “Brave New World” based on a title of a very popular novel which is full of the author’s vision of the future’s possibilities.
Here in this post, two of Gereja FOCUS Indonesia’s church-campers share their experience along with the pictures they took:
What a privilege to be able to join another church camp! Totally loved the fellowship, chats during dinner, had mental moments, played with crazy kids, praising the Lord together, submitting everything to God in prayers together.. what a beauty of renewed relationships in Christ :) This year’s church camp we came to learn from a book in the Bible – the book of Isaiah! Had fun digging into God’s word and came back to reflect upon the very good news of Jesus Christ, and to be amazed again and again by God’s grace. :) We humans are like grass. Here today, gone tomorrow. So the question is – how do we fit into God’s big history of salvation? How does knowing that we have been alive together with Jesus affect the way we live? What does it look like to live for Him who died, and was raised for us? A voice says, “Cry!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. (Isaiah 40:6-8, ESV)
I’m going to share some ideas of what I’ve learnt in the camp. :) So this year’s topic is Brave New World and we’ve looked through the book of Isaiah. Few months ago, I read the book and found it very hard to understand. Therefore I’m very happy and thankful to discuss this book. I had to say that the materials are tough as each and every one of us are challenged to think. There are times in which I experienced confusions and doubts but I’m glad to have good people around to discuss with which is very helpful at the end.
The first point is that in Isaiah 37:6. It is mentioned that God has assured His people to not be afraid in facing the future and what is going to happen. God is in control of our trajectory (direction where things come from something). His words are true as he promises and fulfils His prophecies at the right time. Everything in His will is perfect. God provides us commentaries in the words of His prophets described in the Bible as he pre-determines things and predicts them beforehand. He is the God who speaks of history who controls the future and is the one you should trust. That’s why history is called HIStory as it is all about Him.
And in responding to God’s words, we should be humble and contrite (Isaiah 66:2). In other words, being open to be shown when you are wrong before God and not. We should also tremble and at the same time feel comfort in His words. Nowadays, the way we ask God is all about me which is not being humble. We are not the main character in God’s story hence should not tell God what to do. So this is an eye opener for me. As a normal person I tend to ask God what I think is good for me although this shouldn’t be like this. I need to be humble as I should try to think what God wants me to do.
Another point is that we are sinful people and the only way for our sins to be pardoned is through the death of God’s servant, Jesus. God strikes Jesus down to free us from our bondage of sins instead of punishing us. It was Jesus’ death that frees us from God’s wrath. This made me realise that as God’s children, we are also at the same time His servants as we should serve Him and spread the good news towards the people who haven’t heard about Jesus. God has predestined everything and that His will is perfect. We should be faithful and loyal in Him as we keep on trusting in His plan. :D
Pray that as Christians, we should wait for God faithfully and stay firm in our faith. Keep trusting in Him and keep on leaning in Him. Don’t rely on our human efforts as we are part of God’s story not God being part of our story. Let the name of God be glorified forever. Amen. :) :) :) :)