Our last few sabbatical days were spent on Lake Geneva. One night in Lausanne, and our last night in Geneva. I was particularly interested in visiting Geneva because it was the home of one of Christendom’s most prominent reformers – John Calvin.
John Calvin was born in 1509. He was 8 years old when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg door and launched the Protestant Reformation. He was 14 when he left home for the university. He was somewhere around 20 when he was converted to faith in Christ. And he was 26 when the first edition of his magnum opus, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, was published.
This first edition debuted in March of 1536 and was a relatively short book—nothing close to the 1000-plus pages of the final edition. The first edition was designed to be small enough to fit into a coat pocket so it could be carried and referenced at any time in any place.
Calvin would later write, “All I had in mind was to hand on some elementary teaching by which anyone who had been touched by an interest in religion might be formed to true godliness. I labored at the task especially for our own Frenchmen, for I saw that many were hungering and thirsting after Christ and yet that only a very few had any real knowledge of him.” Amazing that this elementary teaching would grow into one of the most important books in the history of the church.
As my sabbatical comes to an end, I look forward to being back with my church family at Ridgecrest and laboring towards the same end that Calvin worked so hard at – helping to equip those who are hungering and thirsting after Christ to know Him in the same way that Paul expressed in Philippians 3:8-10,
“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection….”
And I reconfirm what I consider my calling as expressed by Paul in Philippians 1:25-26,
“… I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.”
Next Stop: HOME!
(After an 8 hour weather delay in Newark on Monday, we arrived back home at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday morning.)