Monday, June 25, 2012

Calvin's sermons on Luke 1-2

Another source I have found helpful in preaching the opening chapters of Luke’s Gospel is the collection of John Calvin’s selected sermons on Luke 1-2, translated by Robert White under the title Songs of the Nativity (Banner of Truth, 2008).

I used this quote from a Calvin sermon from Luke 1 in last Sunday’s sermon My soul doth magnify the Lord (Luke 1:39-56):

The greatest praise we can render Mary is to take her as our teacher:  she must instruct us, and we will be her pupils.  Not like the papists, who sing masses in her honour, erect altars and chapels, daintily dress her images and sweeten them with incense, yet ignore all she said in the power of God’s Spirit.  We on the contrary must follow her example, and remember that God looked on her with pity.  She should be to us a mirror of God’s mercy.  For in mercy God chose us for himself, sinners though we were, rescued us from the abyss of death and had compassion on us.  Mary is thus set before us as an example to imitate.  With her we acknowledge that we are nothing, that we count for nothing, and are utterly reliant on God’s goodness.  That is how we can be Mary’s pupil, proving by our aptness that we have been attentive to her teaching….  Following her example, we should praise God and learn to rejoice in him (pp. 30-31).

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