Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 464
I will praise my Father and sing with joy! My heart compels me. Thankfulness for his comfort and grace wells up within me, and floating on clear waves of pleasure, I simply cannot be sad.
Neither can I be silent! I will tell all men what my Father has done. Take it to heart and listen to what I will say:
My Father made the world and everything in it with the power of his Word. Sin spoiled it. Adam and Eve fell, but my Father gave them the promise of his grace.
He sent Christ to tread on the serpent’s head, to tear the ropes that held us, and free us from sin. Christ erased our criminal record and showed us the way to life. He gave us power, so let us keep his commands.
Friends, seek Christ while he may be found! Do not defy the Father by continuing in sin. Struggle against it! Lead a holy life as branches of Christ, the true vine. Staying in Christ, you will bear much fruit. Your light will shine, and you will show the world that you are children of God.
Christ will testify before the Father in favour of all that testify of him before men. He will take all believers for his bride, lead them into his kingdom, and his name written on them will never be removed. Therefore confess him, not with your mouth alone, but with works of purifying love.
Love, more than anything else, will move you to work the will of God. The one that has no love believes in vain. His work is useless to God, and he will reject it no matter how good it looks or sounds.
Take hold on love! Love is the food of the soul. It is our motivation. With love burning inside, we will never turn cold. Let it crackle and roar. Let it shoot up in light and flames to consume what is wicked in us! Then, thanks to love, we may please God and reach our goal. With the elect we may claim the promise of eternal life and joy!
No eye has seen, nor ear heard, the wonders our Father prepared. So let us not pass them by! Not all that say, “Lord, Lord,” will be saved, but those that lovingly do the Father’s will. God lives in them and will let them inherit the treasure of heaven. With Christ they will rejoice, united in his kingdom forever.
Peter Ridemann, 1506-1556, Hirschberg, Schlesien, Germany
chosen as leader of Anabaptist community at 18, long mission trips, spent 9 years in prison, both before and right after marriage, led brotherhood through great persecution, died, Protzka, Slovakia