“I call ‘piety’ that reverence joined with love of God which the knowledge of his benefits induces. For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by his fatherly care, that he is the Author of their every good, that they should seek nothing beyond him – they will never yield him willing service. Nay, unless they establish their complete happiness in him, they will never give themselves truly and sincerely to him.” – John Calvin
Recently my wife and I traveled to the beautiful country of Switzerland. I knew the Swiss were known for making exquisite watches and time pieces, but I never realized how orderly and timely the country ran. Most mornings, my wife and I would catch the train to a destination of our planning (mostly my wife’s planning), and every morning the train would arrive and leave to the exact minute. If a train was scheduled to be at the station at 11:37, it was there, and all passengers had better be on board ready to go, because if they were a minute late, the train was a minute down the tracks. You gotta love the Swiss!
On one of those mornings, we caught the express train from Montreux to Geneva to explore the famous city of John Calvin, and although it has been almost 500 years since Calvin pastored the Geneva congregation during the Reformation, we were excited to explore the Old Town of Geneva and see what we could learn about the famous reformer.
As we visited St. Peters Church, where Calvin pastored for over thirty years; located his grave site, where he was buried in 1564; walked the grounds of the University of Geneva, where Calvin and Theodore Beza started an academy for children that grew into the University; and strolled through the area where he lived most of his life, I was continually reminded of the impact this giant of the faith had on future generations of Christians and countries. God used John Calvin to influence the world for the glory of God.
Many forget the influence Calvin had on the pilgrims and puritans who settled our great nation. Many of the early settlers of America were only one generation removed from sitting in the pews of St. Peters Church, and the Bible of choice for most of the puritans was the Geneva Bible. And Calvin’s legacy, Institutes of the Christian Religion, is one of the greatest systematic theological works in church history.
Finding the place where John Calvin pastored and lived centuries ago was a great joy on our journey.
May God bless you with His grace, love and truth!