Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6- Calvin on the Liturgical Calendar

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

4/6- Calvin on the Liturgical Calendar
“Some consider one day more sacred than another; others consider every day alike. (Romans 14:5)
“You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! I fear for you.Gal. 4:10
Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration, or a Sabbath day. Colossians 2:16
If in Christian liberty the churches religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord’s nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, we approve of it highly. But we do not approve of feasts instituted for men and for saints. (Second Helvetic Confession- written by Bullinger Calvin’s friend)
We just ordered our Presbyterian liturgical calendar. When I was a boy we had three special days: Christmas, Easter, and Sunday. We sometimes would remember Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. The Puritans cut out everything but Sunday as Christmas even then was too materialistic and had turned into a drunken festival. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are great at pointing out pagan associations with Christmas and Easter- yet these events- the birth and resurrection really did happen and are worth celebrating even if abused. Our calendar is in part an ecumenical effort to reach across the aisle to our Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, and even Roman Catholic friends.
We do not remember Calvin’s birthday or Luther’s birthday every year. We do remember Reformation Day (last Sunday in October) commemorating the start of the Reformation. But Calvin probably would cringe at my writing about his birthday. Sorry Calvin, I am trying to get your writings out and erase some of the terrible misconceptions about you! That still wouldn’t do for him. He was a humble guy. So, we do not worship Calvin, but we do imitate him as he imitates Christ (I Corinthians 11:1). Saint days were forbidden, but days commemorating our Lord were okay.
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you give us time and seasons. You set them about naturally, and any calendar or event we make is artificial and pale compared to your own calendar. Help us to give you our time, our days, our devotion alone.

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