Friday, November 5, 2010


The day of reformation has just passed a few days ago, namely October 31, 2010. It is such a quite old tradition, which was perhaps begun on October 31, 1518, that people started commemorating the blatantly heroic action took place a year before in front of the Wittenberg’s church of Germany by Martin Luther, a once Catholic friar who eventually realized his calling as a reformer. From that day on, Christians are enriched by a new paradigm instigated by the reformation: “Ecclesia reformata, simper reformanda secundum verbum Dei”, which says “the church reformed, always being reformed according to the Word of God”. This is actually how the bible teaches us to always have our life be reformed and refreshed everyday.

Luther perhaps had never thought such an impact that he would actually inflict to God’s congregation all over the world although it had to cause another separation to the physical body of Christ. With gentle heart, as what Luther had, we should perceive what he did as something based on a spirit, which everyone in the church should have, to look for only God’s face and countenance upon His people. Let us just say that God triggered the spirit of reformation in his heart and this made him understand what is in God’s heart. As we know from the story of Luther, he was feeling so much uncomfortable until he gave in himself into that reformation that he believed was so urgently needed by Christ’s body, as it was moving in the form of, instead, Christendom. This spirit was then culminated by Luther’s contemporary, John Calvin of Geneve. Definitely, after approximately 500 years, we could see the long-term impact of the reformation, started in Europe and spreading throughout the globe, and, hopefully, based on what Luther said, the reformation would still take place never-endingly in the body of Christ till He comes again one day.

Around 450 years after the very day of the beginning of Luther’s reformation, another reformation was begun in the history of human civilization. Another kind of modern renaissance emerged in the form of modern computer. The invention of semiconductor devices and, later on, how it shrank smaller and smaller in size were the ones with major contribution to the development of computers and electronic devices. These have transformed and shaped the way we live on earth today.

And now, human civilization has changed into a very brand new phase after 50 years, moving from a pre-modern, modern, and now post-modern phase. It is the time when life becomes so fast and hastily lived. As the computers are getting smaller and smaller again, they are making our lives faster and yet busier than before. We can be connected faster to our friends and relatives, but we are at the same time a lot busier as we have to pick up the phone for so many times a day, make so many appointments, and be involved in so many activities during the daytime. This way of life is so much in contrast with the life the reformers had around 500 years ago. Even until the very beginning of the last century, men were still moving in a very slow motion and life was very much calmer than now. Nowadays, people are even so much stressed by traffic jams, emails, news, and other modern sources of information. Perhaps, your Blackberry Messenger is so active at this time, when you read this article.

We are going faster, but it seems that we are going nowhere. As we move and live faster, we, on the contrary, are more mechanically attached to the jobs we have to finish day by day. We are so much hectic because of the frantic life rhythm created by this era. In short, technology has shaped the way we live and transformed it into a form that is irreversible and, yet, going astray. It might sound like a provocative and unreasonable statement of mine, but I would like to just invite you to calm down yourself for a while, let us say 10 minutes. Could you? I guess your hand phone would have distracted you before the due time. J

Commemorating the reformation day a few days ago, let us think about this frantic and chaotic life once again. In my perspective, it still needs to be reformed and refreshed everyday continuously. Of course, this can only be done if we are not ourselves overwhelmed by the businesses we have to cope with in the daily basis. Pulling back ourselves and taking some silent time everyday, or thinking always about God and His divine Word and reading the scriptures would, at least, bring us to a quite-enough distance from this busy life. Pondering upon His word would make us realize that He is still God and He is still relevant in this life, giving us enough clues on how to proceed from today to tomorrow. It is, of course, a painful and bloody struggle, even for Luther and Calvin if they live today, because they would also have Blackberries in their pockets. I wonder if they could still pray for, at least, three hours a day with those fancy “electronic fruits” nearby. Nevertheless, it still becomes our struggle, the men of post-modern time; the way we are heading right now, based on that struggle, would determine the direction of humanity as it is influenced so much by the Christians. Just like Luther, let us shout out loudly, bravely, and wholeheartedly: “Hier stehe ich” (“Here I stand”) as we are confronted with those challenges of our time for we want to live a responsible life in front of the same divine God, who also lived and triggered the reformers quite some time ago. Happy Reformation Day! May we be reformed, transformed day by day for the glory of God! J