Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5- To Be Like Christ

Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

4/5- (Palm Sunday) United and Conformed to Christ I John 2:6; I Peter 4:10
6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. I John 2:6
10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.
Calvin: As he has before set before us God as light for an example, he now calls us also to Christ, that we may imitate him. Yet he does not simply exhort us to imitate Christ; but from the union we have with him, he proves that we ought to be like him. A
likeness in life and deeds, he says, will prove that we abide in Christ. But from these words he passes on to the next clause, which he immediately adds respecting love to the brethren. (Commentary on I John 2:6)

Calvin was deeply aware that Christ is the head of the body the church (not the pope, not the king, not the minister). It is not that Christ is seen from a distance and we need to imitate him. We are united to him as the body is united to its head. When we dive into the lake, we go “head first” the rest follows behind. Jesus has shown us the way to live and to face afflictions and death. We abide in him and he in us. We are untied “in him” (when we believe) as we are united to the air that we live in and lives in us. We imitate Christ, then, not in our own strength, but in his!
On this Palm Sunday let us imitate Christ as he faces his sufferings with grace and godly strength. Let us give ourselves anew to him- abiding in his love and presence.

Prayer: Lord, help us by your Spirit, and your abiding presence to abide in you and follow you and your will.

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