“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done.” (Reference: Matthew 16:24-27 )
Some more brief information about the different groups coming out of the Radical Reformation Movement. Many of the historic Anabaptists united under the name Mennonites), but other groups emerged, one of the being the Hutterites. They held common beliefs with the historic Anabaptists, and their writings are included in the rich heritage of writing from that time.
Concerning discipleship, Andreas Ehrenpreis, a Hutterite, said (and Reading the Anabaptist Bible quotes him), “Our Lord Jesus Christ said in several instances that those who love something more than himself, and do not renounce everything, note everything,cannot be his disciples, Matt. 10:37-39; Luke 14:7-14.The faithful thereby testify that we, though many, are all one bread and one body, partaking of one loaf. In this the Lord Christ wants us to understand that even as the seeds on the field needed to die in the ground, then form roots and sprout, enduring the cold and heat of summer and winter to reach maturity, so also those who want to follow Christ must deny themselves, and endure suffering, taking the cross upon themselves, Matt. 16:24.”
Seeds, growth, seasons, and harvest are well known themes in the bible, and the historic Anabaptists (and Hutterites) applied these themes to their lives. And in their application, loss of friends, family, and life were not unexpected. There is a term the historic Anabaptists used (and perhaps the Hutterites as well) – Gelassenheit. In its richest context it means, “self-surrender, resignation in God’s will (Gottergebenheit), yieldedness to God’s will, self-abandonment, the (passive) opening to God’s willing, including the readiness to suffer for the sake of God, also peace and calmness of mind . . .” [http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Gelassenheit This citation does a very good job placing this concept in its proper context.]
It was this peace and the acceptance of God’s will that allowed them to endure the persecution and oppression they faced. Eventually they moved away to other areas, regions and countries in order to be free to worship as they felt right. Gelassenheit does not mean suffering without need or relief – eventually; it does mean doing and accepting what is necessary for God’s glory and mission.
May you beloved not cling so closely to things that do not matter and/or do not last. Trust to God those things that are important to you, and trust that if they are lost for the “now”, they will be given to you again in the glorious eternal times to come. Selah!