Take Up the Cross Today

Ausbund, 52

All you that suffer, men or woman whoever you be, carry your cross after Christ! Let go of your bodies, your honour, your goods and prepare to walk on an unknown road following drops of bright red blood.

Great will be the terror when God wakes all men from the dead to answer for what they have done. But then it will be too late. Take up the cross today! Today you must meet the bridegroom with your light burning!

The Lord has come riding out, now in these last times, to invite us all to his evening feast. Great joy he promises his guests in his father’s hall. But everyone wishing to go there must set his mark clearly on the goal.

Flee to the Lord! Do not let the world hinder you from pouring out your blood. Rather, let it flow with joy in the Lord Jesus Christ! Will you turn away from God because the world mistreats you?

God will lead you by the hand along the unknown way. Love his Word! It is the only way among many that will bring us safely through the narrow gate. To find eternal possessions you must let go of your body and goods.

I am concerned about you coming too late—coming to knock on the door of grace after it stands securely shut. Take up the cross of Christ now! He poured out his blood to quench the fire of hell. Turn your thoughts completely to God. Let him build for himself a residence in your heart where no one can drive him away. Then trust and believe. That house within you is the house of God.

Do not forget the great anguish and need of Christ on the cross, dying from five mortal wounds. Do not forget how they flogged and bound him, and placed on his head a crown of thorns. Let us pray to Christ that he may not leave us on this rough path he walked before. Much torture and punishment awaits us. But the Lord with his weapons stands guard. He will defend us with evangelical truth. Rejoice! Salvation is at hand!

In the hour of his greatest need, while his bright red blood ran down, Christ called for a drink and they gave him vinegar mixed with gall. The world does that for everyone thirsting on the way to heaven. But persevere in the Word of God! He will reward you here, and after this life, forever with him.

Wolfgang Gerold, 16’th century, Europe

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