Monday, July 6, 2009

7/7- Calvin on his boyhood

(Cathedral in Noyon, in Picardy, France- Calvin grew up under this shadow)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

7/7- Calvin on his Boyhood

70 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; 71 from tending the sheep he brought him
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. 72 And David shepherded them with integrity of
heart; with skillful hands he led them. (Psalm 78:70-72)

Calvin: As David was taken from the sheepfold and elevated to the rank of supreme authority; sp God having taken me from my originally obscure and humble condition, has reckoned me worthy of being invested with the honorable office of a preacher and minister of the gospel. When I was a very little boy my father had destined me for the study of theology. But afterwards, when he considered that the legal profession commonly raised those who follow it, to wealth, this prospect induced him to suddenly change his purpose. (Preface to the Commentary on the Psalms)

If you look at the history of the family of the Protestant leaders, Calvin was among the most blest. Luther’s father was a miner. Zwingli grew up in a farming community and his father was the local small town magistrate. Bucer was an orphan. Calvin’s father was the lawyer of the local bishop and had enough influence to get jobs for his sons and send his son to college. Calvin had a job at 14 as a chaplain in the cathedral in Noyons. The same cathedral in which Charlemagne was crowned. He also had a small chapel in the country. He didn't actually have to show up much if at all in these jobs (this was part of the corruption of the church that Calvin campaigned against). Calvin would preach a couple of times a year but could not serve the sacraments since he was not ordained then. One of the signs of his conversion to Protestantism was his resigning of his "benefices" or jobs. Calvin could see God’s hand upon him early on. He recognized that God lifts up people and honors them. Even though many despised Calvin- even making up monstrous stories about him, he was admired by many and became not only a preacher, but a community leader, and even the leading theologian of the Reformation, and one of the founders of the Reformed movement. We would do well to imitate his humility and recognize God’s hand leading us and lifting us up.

Prayer: You have told us to trust in you with all our heart and to lean not on our own understanding. You have said if we acknowledge you in all our ways you will direct our paths. Help us to trust in you and rely on you.

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