“Love the father of the family and you will embrace in your love and good will His entire household.”
Today is the 505th anniversary of the French Reformer, John Calvin. A devoted pastor, he pleads with his flock to help, love, and pray for the Christian family nearby and faraway:
Extend our hands to one another,
Help one another we must,
And especially we commend
Our brethren to the providential care
Of the best of Fathers.
For if He is kind and favorable,
Nothing else at all can be desired.
This very thing, indeed, we owe
To our Father.
Love the father of the family
And you will embrace
In your love and good will
His entire household.
To His people, His family,
And His inheritance
We must needs then show
The same zeal and affection
We have toward this heavenly Father.
For them He has honored
By calling them
The fullness of His only begotten Son.
And so the prayer of the Christian man
Should embrace all His brothers in Christ,
Both those he sees and owns as brothers
And all who dwell on earth.
What for them the Lord has determined
Is beyond our knowing;
Yet we ought to wish
And hope the best for them.
To those of the household of faith
We ought with special affection be drawn,
Commended as they are to us in everything
By the apostle.
– The Piety of John Calvin: A Collection of His Spiritual Prose, Poems, and Hymns, translated and edited by Ford Lewis Battles (P&R Publishing: 2009), 132