Learning and teaching as a reconciled child of God

By Rev Juliman Harefa

I was blessed to have the opportunity to attend a Biblical Reconciliation workshop in Pematangsiantar, North Sumatra, in 2019. These workshops aim to equip and encourage pastors and teachers in Indonesia, and are offered as a service of the Lutheran Church of Australia. The workshop was based on six lessons: Remember whose you are Repent […]

I was blessed to have the opportunity to attend a Biblical Reconciliation workshop in Pematangsiantar, North Sumatra, in 2019. These workshops aim to equip and encourage pastors and teachers in Indonesia, and are offered as a service of the Lutheran Church of Australia.

The workshop was based on six lessons:

  • Remember whose you are
  • Repent before God
  • Receive God’s forgiveness
  • Confess to another person
  • Forgive as God forgave you
  • Restore with gentleness

These six lessons form part of Christian doctrine, as described in Luther’s Small Catechism. During the workshop we studied these topics as they provide direction for daily life, especially in reconciliation. The course was designed in a way to present questions for discussion, supported by many Bible passages. An integral part of the course was to consider how the passages from the word of God applied to each question.

As students in the workshop, we worked in both small and large groups, asking questions, sharing opinions and being actively involved in discussions. I was learning as an individual student, as well as how to teach the material – coaching people struggling with specific conflict or preparing for mediation and reconciliation.

The training I received from this workshop has impacted on my life as a Christian, as well as in my role as a teacher of theology classes in English. It helped me realise that I have been in conflict with God, since the time of Adam and Eve. It also taught me that, as a Christian, I am reconciled with God through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, his only Son. I also realised that I am called to share God’s love by teaching.

This year I have two classes to teach, each with 30 students. My teaching is from the book, Go and Be Reconciled, What Does This Mean: A Bible Study on Reconciliation reviewing Luther’s Small Catechism. The topics in this book are the ones I studied in the workshop. The classes I teach aim to help my students realise that they have also been in conflict with God, since the time of Adam and Eve, but that they are reconciled to God, and to one another, through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.


This story was also published in the December 2020 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner churches in Indonesia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/indonesia/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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