Standing on Ice

Ausbund, 71

Lord God in heaven, help us! We stand on slick ice and our enemies come at us from every side. The devil, the world, and my own flesh—these are the enemies that pursue me. Keep my feet Lord from slipping!

I have renounced all three of them and thrown myself on your mercy. But oh Lord, do not let me fall on this slick ice! They would kill me! My enemies do all they can to trip me up with the ropes of riches, goods, and money. They insist you are on their side. They are happy and point to all the trouble I, for my part, must endure. Like lions they roar about me seeking to devour. But so far I have stood my own. When they struck me, you bound me up again.

Those hypocrites sent me a letter wondering why I left their church. They admonished me to turn away from Christ’s teaching, to accept their man-made rules, and enforce them on others as well. But I cannot.

They have chosen for themselves the whore, old Babylon, giving them to drink from the cup of abominations in her hand. Lucifer is their prince. He sends false prophets out into the world to plunder and kill the faithful. See how they lie in the cities like swine, doing their services for money! Then, if anyone does not believe them, they shoot him down, imprison him, or drive him far away.

Lord Christ, increase my faith! On top of all that happens, my own flesh tries to deceive me. My desire is to do good, but the power to fulfill it Lord, must come from you. I hope in your Gospel. Lord, keep your banner flying over me!

The one that walks your narrow way through suffering and pain, is like a pelican. All snakes hate him, because when they try to steal its young, he opens up his breast to pour out his blood upon them. Our Lord Christ defends his young in the same way. He opened himself on the cross to let his rose-red blood flow upon us. He is our bread from heaven, and like he said, whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood will never die.

Now Lord Jesus, true pelican of our souls, do you seee how all men hate your young? Give us faith, love, and patience—enough with which to love even our enemies. Do not let the great hordes of opposition against you frighten us.

The Antichrist already stands in the holy place. The fig tree is turning green. Therefore, you faithful ones that carry his name, go on in peace and joy! God will save you shortly. He will get you out of here!

Hans Büchel

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