The Believers’ Passover

Ausbund, 55

Christ bears us again through water and the Holy Ghost. His blood purifies us from sin if we do not mix with the world. If we die we with him we will inherit all things with him, after he destroys this world.

Let us gird up our loins, take up our staff, and prepare for the journey with bread unleavened with deceit. All of God’s children hurry to the Lamb’s table to eat. They do not sit down. They eagerly go on their way, for the flesh dare not rest or take it easy if the kingdom shall be won.

They eat the Passover lamb with grief and bitter herbs. For the one that refuses to suffer with Christ can have nothing to do with his body and blood. No pieces of the lamb may be allowed to remain. That is, even though it brings us anguish and distress, we must stay with Christ.

Our faith and love dare not grow cold until the work in us is done. With Christ we become pilgrims, without citizenship on this earth. Even though people hate us without cause we carry it patiently in love.

Love your enemies, deceive no one, and with your own flesh stoop into the dust. Go with Christ to the garden to drink the cup as the Father wills. And in the end, let him burn up the pieces of what is left over from your life.

Christ set the pattern for communion, breaking the bread and blessing the wine in a cup. With this he showed his unity in the Spirit with those that are his flesh and bones, the members of his body.

Christians are like the bread made of many crushed grains, and the wine made of many pressed grapes. Christ multiplies love and community among them.

So let us understand what his body is, and what it is not, for the one that eats unworthily damns his soul. The one that does not truly love is a false member of it, and if he shelters anger and jealousy in his heart, he is a Judas.

The cup stands for Christ’s sufferings. Every branch of the vine he prunes in love he gives to drink of the cup of his afflictions. That is, of the cup of his holy covenant.

So now, green branches of the vine, be comforted in your distress! If you suffer and die with Christ, you will share his inheritance. If you keep your part of the covenant, he will keep yours and end your pain.

Where Christ is invited to the wedding feast he lets the guests drink the sour wine first. After that is gone he pours the clear wine of truth into the cup of his holy community forever. This world will pass but he will come to free his own!

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

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