The Bridal Dress

Ausbund, 97

Arise, awake, holy community of God in these last times! Arisen chosen ones of Jesus Christ, and prepare yourselves to meet him! Adorn yourselves quickly for he is coming soon. Put on your bridal dress and prepare to be off to the wedding with him!

Let your dress be holy and pure, without spot or wrinkle. The Son of God died to make you clean! Out of pure grace your sins may be forgiven and you may be born again, in baptism through the Holy Ghost.

Chosen bride of Christ, keep yourself for the promised one alone! Look to no others. The Antichrist is a great womaniser. With wicked glee he would carry you away. But from the depths of your being, keep firmly to the covenant you have made and he will do you nothing.

No matter how persistently he tempts you, pay him no attention. You already have a man! With great power he will come before long to carry you into unlimited joy.

Your present trial will only last a short while, until your Beloved One has proven you faithful. Listen to no false teaching while going through it! Turn not from him in your distress! He will have mercy and snatch you out of all pain.

Out of pure grace and kindness he chose you out of the world and wrote your name into the book of life. Through all eternity he will keep you safe. He will guard you forever from hell,  if with heart and mouth you hold to the covenant you have made.

Hold him in high honour! Serve him with eager zeal! Prepare yourself for him and no one else on earth. Do not let fire or sword, or similar dangers frighten you. He will make up for everything you have suffered!

Stay strong in his Word. Turn not to one side or the other, for he has promised to turn your afflictions into eternal joy. Respect him and ask him to help you, for without him you can do nothing.

Oh Lord, give strength to your church community! Keep her pure so she may praise you!

Michael Schneider, 1530s, imprisoned at Passau, Germany

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