Rejoice!

Ausbund, 106

All pure Christians, rejoice! Rejoice from the heart in Jesus Christ through whom faith, love, and hope have come to us! What God has promised will soon become clearly visible to all.

Jerusalem, the church community of Christ, is preparing now to meet him. Washed in his blood she stands before him, innocent and pure. Christ Jesus has clothed her with righteousness and chosen her for his bride.

Jerusalem has twelve gates named for the twelve tribes of Israel. She sits on twelve foundations named for the twelve apostles sent out by Christ. Through this we see how the Old and New Testament come together in the church community. The new has completed the old.

Jerusalem’s gold and precious stones are its righteousness, its shining habitations the holy community of God. No sin enters Jerusalem. Great joy is there in the presence of God. Time stops ruling and Christ prepares the Way to the tree of life. Those that walk it must face adversity, but they overcome it with the blood of the Lamb. Dressed in wedding garments they to in to the feast with him.

Three gates always stand open in the city’s four sides. From the four corners of the world the holy come to enter them with joy. Their prayers ascend, in time and eternity, like incense before the throne of God. They praise and bless the Lord for what he has already done, and for the new heaven and new earth he has promised to give them yet.

For a thousand years the saints will reign with Christ before judgement falls on the wicked, until the number of the Gentiles is complete, and the end comes. Then the sea will give up its dead. Hell and earth will appear before judgement and the Lord will throw those whose names are not found in the book of life into the valley of fire. There they will pay double for the holy blood they have shed and for every sin they have committed.

Here they lived among gold, silk, and roses. There they bite their tongues and the smoke of their torment ascends forever. But the pure will enter the New Jerusalem with Christ, the A and O.

Therefore keep the covenant, church community of God! Keep yourself for Christ the bridegroom! This time of affliction will soon be over, then he will give you rest.

Hans Betz,       -1537, Eger, Franken, imprisoned and died at Passau in Germany

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