The Narrow Door to the City of Peace

Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 664

You invited us Lord, to your wedding feast. Would you kindly give us what we need to get there? We understood from your Word that we should let go of everything. So that is what we did.

We despised our own inclinations, let everything go, and set out on your way. Deeply convicted by your Word, we set out from our homes, leaving all our friends behind us.

Fulfil our joy and let us make it through to sit at your table on the marriage feast!

Why should worldly pleasures attract us? They only last for a short while. We stand in constant danger and the struggles of death come quickly upon us. Fleeting joy falls quickly into dreadful lamentation and grief.

Proud spirits crumble before the reality of the end. So what is life? Why should it walk so highly? Every hour is a risk. The snare of death closes in upon us. Increase our strength so we may leave the world and, even though we sorrow now, enter the joy you have prepared.

Adorn us with the wedding clothes we need: godly obedience, true love, faith and righteousness. Above all, give us faith, strong enough to overturn Jericho’s walls, strong enough to move mountains, and unfailing trust in you, though we know not which way to turn. Give us patience like Job’s in affliction and let us sail in the ship of your protection.

With the staff of your Word in our hands we set out through the desert, under the golden wings of a silver dove. That dove is your church community, the silver its righteousness, and the gold its shining love.

As long as we live right, as we promised, peace and unity will go with us, and the Lord will bless. So sing, turtledove, and rejoice, for winter has ended and your hatchlings appear in the warmth and light of the sun!

From Jerusalem we hear a kind voice, “Come to me, all you heavy laden, and I will make you free!” It is the voice of Christ that brings us together from many locations into a common faith. For this we thank him every hour. For this we praise him.

Praise him daughter of Zion, adorned and ready for the bridegroom to appear! He is already on the way. Do not worry if it takes a little while. That gives others the chance to get ready too. Wait patiently but prepare. Do not fall asleep! Do not let your faith and love diminish until he comes.

Comfort your little children Lord. Comfort them wherever they may be scattered or gathered in secret, with your Spirit and Word, so we may go in through the narrow door to the city of peace.

Hänsl Zwinger,      -1568, Anabaptist leader in Moravia

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