As our August family vacation time nears its end, we decided to spend our last day walking around the beautiful city of Geneva. My daughter, grand-daughter and I wandered around and found ourselves outside a very old building. The sign read: Auditoire de Calvin (Calvin’s auditorium). Turns out that we’d come upon the place where John Calvin, key figure of the Protestant Reformation, preached and taught the Bible.
Five hundred years ago, a person had to be educated to be able to read the Word of God—because it was only available in scholarly languages, not in languages people actually spoke. Calvin’s auditorium became a safe place for Protestant refugees to worship in their own language. Because of Calvin, Tyndale, Knox and others, most of us easily read the Word in our own languages, the languages of our hearts, without giving it a second thought.
As a young adult, I had no interest in going to church. Where would I have heard about Jesus Christ if I couldn’t read the Word of God on my own, in my own language? Thank God, I could and I did.
As a single mother, how could I have raised my daughters to adulthood without God’s presence and God’s Word to guide me? Thank God, I had both.
How could I have followed God’s call to ministry of the Word and Sacrament if I could not read God’s Word and know that God calls both men and women to ordained ministry? Thank God, for God’s provision and grace!
I am grateful today for that great cloud of witnesses who were willing to risk everything—even their own lives—so that all of us can embrace and live into the Word of God fully. Soli Deo gloria!
~ Rev. Alison Moore
Rev. Alison Moore has been pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Brookline, MA, since her ordination in 1999. Baptized and raised Roman Catholic, Alison drifted into a secular lifestyle until a neighborhood Bible study on the gospel of Mark confronted her with the truth of Jesus Christ. The call to follow Jesus gradually became a call to the ministry of Word and Sacrament for which she is grateful to God daily. Now Alison is following God’s call to become a spiritual director, hoping to complete her training in March 2018.