There’s not been much excitement in Geneva about celebrating the 500th birthday of one of its most famous residents – Jean Calvin. Calvin was born in France in 1509 but landed in Geneva after fleeing Roman Catholic persecution against Protestants in 1536. While most know him via popular but inaccurate and simplistic caricatures, his pastoral work, theological writings, sermons and commentaries provided rigorous framework for the massive changes in the church and society of his time. Yet, if one reads the history of his time in Geneva which involved a great deal of conflict and exile, it’s clear it was no heaven on earth. Today, would Calvin be shocked to find Geneva a city with a predominant and prevailing secularism, and 40% are Catholic, 17% Protestant and 5% Moslem? Perhaps not, as he was too much of a student of the Bible and the history of God’s works not to know that whatever gains one generation makes can easily be lost very quickly by the next. It’s hard to know if Calvin would have endorsed birthday cake & candles or all the hoopla but there still seems no honor for prophets in one’s home town, even when it’s an adopted one.