Community Restored

Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 593

Christ teaches community with his body, broken for us—the bread being many grains, deprived of their own lives, and ground together to become one loaf.

So the members of Christ’s body deny themselves, willingly lose their private identity, and become mixed together, no one saying, “That is mine. I will take it for my own.”

Every kernel of grain that misses the mill and enters the dough intact, must be thrown out. It cannot have part in community.

Christ also teaches community with the vine and its branches. And he drove all that bought and sold from his temple—that is, from his holy Church.

Then, shortly after his resurrection, Christ’s Kingdom took shape in community and detachment  in Jerusalem. Antioch followed and a great number of pious ones in other places became one in spirit with him.

With spirit, soul, body, and life, those that obey Christ have followed him since—wearing on their feet the boots of the Gospel of Peace. With their hands they serve one another. With their ears they listen to God’s Word. With their eyes they watch out where the body goes. And godly love moves all of them to give themselves completely to God and one another, like a good tree gives its fruit, its sap, and finally its wood in humble service.

In the Lord’s community no one stands around with his hands in his pockets while the rest have more work than they can handle. No one sits eating his own bread while the rest suffer need.

For a long time godly community lay in ruins. The devil and greed destroyed it. But now the Lord, in his wonderful grace, has awakened it again. The Apostles’ doctrine in word and work has been restored.

Let those that hope for community with Christ in heaven, join themselves to it already on earth! Whatever they leave for Christ shall be given back a hundred times. But the one that lives half-heartedly among the pious, like Judas, Ananias, or Simon the sorcerer, shall be cast out of Christ’s Kingdom forever.

Keep my heart, spirit, and conscience Lord, in true community! Lead me out of this current affliction into your promised land!

Hans Schmidt,        -1558, Raiffach, Tirol, Austria, burned on a mission trip to Germany

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