He tabernacled among us too


Happy New Year – 2010

Well here in Scotland the Noughties have fallen away, never to be seen again, and we’ve entered 2010 (or the nameless decade – the Teens?! Not yet surely!) Its a reflective time and I hope to post more reflections later. However, I want to share one of the writings that has impacted me most in the last decade, though I’ve known it for longer. It was written back in the fulcrum of the Reformation in Geneva by Jean (John) Calvin. He’s often condemned by those who do not understand him of causing much of what is wrong in modern Scottish culture and beyond, the remnants of a certain dourness. He’s decried for an academic, cold and unforgiving religion. However, while Calvin has many flaws, it is clear that his theology is academic and intellectual, but also personal, warm and intense. He penned the following himself and I think it is one of the greatest paragraphs ever written:

“Faith believes that God is real; hope awaits for the moment when he will demonstrate his reality. Faith believes that God is our father; hope believes that he will always behave as a father towards us. Faith believes that we have been given eternal life; hope awaits the day when it will be revealed. Faith …is the founation upon which hope rests; hope nourishes and shelters faith.” (Genevan Catechism)

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Luther on faith

Even if my faith is weak, I still have exactly the same treasure and the same Christ as others.  There is no difference… It is like two people, each of whom owns a hundred guldens.  One may carry them around in a paper sack, the other in an iron chest.  But despite these differences, they both own the same treasure.  Thus the Christ who you and I own is one and the same, irrespective of the strength or weakness of your faith or mine.

Martin Luther (quoted by A McGrath, Roots that Refresh, 1992, p.99)