We are not our own, we are God’s

Elsie McKee, answering the question, “So, what was Calvin’s pastoral piety (or, godliness)?”

Intensely personal but never individualistic. Woven through with the great doctrines of justification by faith and regeneration of life, the glory of God and providence.

Undergirded with prayer, proclaimed in word and shared in sacraments, sung in psalms. Embodied in action and demanding respect for the neighbor and solidarity with those who suffer in spirit, mind, or body. Not an easy or comfortable piety; it asks for one’s all.

Sturdy and down to earth, lived in the mundane context of daily work, yet always conscious of the presence of the transcendent God and the high calling of living before God. An energizing, lifelong response to God’s liberating claim, God righteous mercy, God’s compelling love, a belonging that is all our joy. “We are not our own… We are God’s!”

– McKee, Elsie, ed. John Calvin: Writings on Pastoral Piety (Paulist Press, 2001), 34-35.

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