Monday, July 06, 2009

On Observing the Birthdays of the USA and John Calvin

Yesterday's worship combined the celebration of our country's independence with the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the birthday of John Calvin.

Yes, you read that sentence correctly! That turned out to be a very powerful combination.

While you don't hear Calvin mentioned often, even in Presbyterian churches, the Fourth of July is a very appropriate time to acknowledge him, 500th birthday or no, because Calvin's interest in right government and advocacy of the need for checks and balances in power make him one of the intellectual Fathers of the American revolution and republic.

The sermon was preceded by a brief video from the Witherspoon Press that focused on Calvin's theology of government. Using Galatians 5:13-26 as the text, Dr. Dave Peterson preached a powerful sermon that concluded with the importance of individual self-government as the foundation for an effective representative government. I would do an injustice by trying to summarize it, but if you would like to hear the podcast it is available here.


Rev Kim said...

How could I have not realized that yesterday was Calvin's birthday?!? But I did have occasion to use my John Calvin bobblehead during the children's sermon.

Quotidian Grace said...

Kim, yesterday was not Calvin's birthday--that is July 10.

Reformed Catholic said...

QG ... you are correct. I'm here at Montreat for the Christian Life Conference, and the Presbyterian Heritage Center is gearing up for the big Calvin Jubilee here on the 10th. The Calvin Jubilee conference starts on Wednesday and lasts until Saturday, with the birthday banquet on Friday evening!

Rev Kim said...

Oops, sorry, I misinterpreted what you wrote! I'm glad to hear it, because I was thinking I would've remembered if he'd been born July 4. And now I can talk about it next week!