Building on Christ

Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 632

I cry to you from this deep prison Lord, because I belong to you. I have given myself to you like a bride gives herself to her husband. To you and your community I have given myself and everything I have, knowing that you will accept nothing but total commitment.

Life and all it involves we must surrender to gain the Kingdom of Heaven.

Love brings it about. Love leads us to commit our entire lives to God. It pursues peace and unity. It seeks not its own, and moves us to live a pure life.

How shall the one that hesitates to give himself to God and his community in love, withstand trials to come? God does not want anything less than wholehearted commitment—that kind that moves us to forsake the world completely, and to throw ourselves with everything we have into the fellowship of the saints.

Let me build Lord, with my whole heart on you. Let me confess your Word in dungeon, fire, and sword, allowing nothing to separate us—no false doctrine, hypocrisy, threat or danger that might come upon me.

Instead of forsaking you, let me demonstrate your laws. Let me be a good example for others even though I stand forsaken among men.

If you would remove your hand of protection from us Lord, everything would go to pieces. Without you we can do nothing. This we must admit, and for this reason I pledge myself to you. You are my comfort, my armour, shield and strength. You are my rock, my castle, the fortress of my hope.

God-fearing Christians, look up! Take fresh courage in the fight! Stand true! Watch your house so the devil does not sneak in and rob your treasure of godly love. Watch, lest he rob you of peace and joy in Christ. No matter how great your adversities, run after Christ! Pursue him through suffering, the cross, and shame, loving God and your neighbour, for that is the way to the Kingdom of Heaven.

I greet you children of God in holy community with the kiss of peace. Let us not leave the way! Let us keep the holy covenant in which I wait in prison, depending on grace to see me through to a blessed end. May God protect us!                                       

Hans Maendel,      -1560, Albeins, Tirol, Austria

Captured in Bavaria, imprisoned in the Vellenberg dungeon, six fathoms deep, infested with rats and bats. Burned alive at Innsbruck (tied to a ladder and thrown into the flames) after warning large crowd to repent.

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