I have always admired the broad collection of folks that end up on the calendar. Though there is a preponderance of folks that you might expect, the “big S” saints of the Church through the ages, there are a collection of people that you wouldn’t expect. Since many Baptists would find a sanctoral calendar to be a bit too Romish for their tastes, they would never expect to see John Bunyan on any kind of saints calendar.
Bunyan grew up in Anglican England. After the English Civil War he found his home in a Baptist congregation and became a lay preacher while working as a metal smith. He authored numerous books, but he is best known for writing Pilgrim’s Progress. It is an allegory of a person named “Christian” who is followed from his first awareness of sin to his conversion in Christ, to his walk as a believer. The book tells the story of a pilgrim in this world on the way to his true home.
The book was so popular that for 100 years after it was published, English speaking Christians across the world generally knew of only two books, the Bible and Pilgrim’s Progress.
Collect for the day:
Almighty God, who by your Holy Spirit give to some the word of wisdom, to others the word of knowledge, and to others the word of faith: We praise your name for the gifts of grace displayed in your servant John Bunyan, and we pray that by his teaching we may be led to a fuller knowledge of the truth which you have revealed in your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.