Above: The faithful celebrating Pascha in Ulaan Baatar.
Христос амилав! Christ is Risen!
Anda. A powerful bond. A sacrificial pledge and an expression of unending love and protection.
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Temujin [Chingis Khan] and Jamugha pitched their tents in the Khorkonagh Valley. With their people united in one great camp, the two leaders decided they should renew their friendship, their pledge of anda. They remembered when they’d first made that pledge, and said, “We should love one another again.” … So Temujin and Jamughasaid said to each other: “We’ve heard the elders say, ‘When two men becomeanda their lives become one. One will never desert the other and will always defend him.’ This is the way we’ll act from now on. We’ll renew our old pledge and love each other forever.”
Temujin took the golden belt he’d received in the spoils from Toghtoga’s defeat and placed it around Anda Jamugha’s waist. Then he led out the Merkid chief’s warhorse, a light yellow mare with black mane and tail, and gave it to Anda Jamugha to ride. Jamugha took the golden belt he’d received in the spoils from Dayir Usun’s defeat and placed it around the waist of AndaTemujin. Then he led out the whitish-tan warhorse of Dayir Usun and had Anda Temujin ride on it. Before the cliffs of Khuldaghar in the Khorkhonagh Valley, beneath the Great Branching Tree of the Mongol, they pledged their friendship and promised to love one another. They held a feast on the spot and there was great celebration. Temujin and Jamugha spent that night alone, sharing one blanket to cover them both.
– The Secret History of the Mongols. Adaptation by Paul Kahn (p.40-41)
Anda. A powerful bond. A sacrificial pledge and an expression of unending love and protection. Temujin and Jamugha in all their power struggles against each other sought to uphold this bond, even in imperfection and seeming betrayal, throughout their lives.
God, the I AM, made anda with his chosen people Israel and always perfectly upheld his pledge of love and protection even when His people failed Him over and over. God, in the person of Jesus, renews anda with all men and offers a powerful bond to all who trust in Him. He brings gifts of eternal life, sonship, and true union. Can we offer gifts of faith, worship, and good works in return? Offering ourselves in baptism is our entrance into anda, eternal fellowship and love, with God. Let us be reminded what God promises us in the words of the Baptismal Service:
But You, O Master of All, declare this water to be water of redemption, water of sanctification, a cleansing of flesh and spirit, a loosing of bonds, a forgiveness of sins, an illumination of soul, a laver of regeneration, a renewal of the spirit, a gift of sonship, a garment of incorruption, a fountain of life. For You have said, O Lord: “Wash, and be clean; put away evil from your souls.”
That, being planted in the likeness of Your death through Baptism, he/she may become a sharer of Your Resurrection; and, preserving the Gift of Your Holy Spirit, and increasing the deposit of Grace, he/she may attain unto prize of his/her high calling, and accounted among the number of the first-born, whose names are written in Heaven, in You our God and Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom be all Glory and Might, together with Your Eternal Father and with Your All; Holy, Good, and Life; creating Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages.
May the true Chingis Khan (Supreme King), Jesus Christ, bless you, once again renew anda with you, and invite you into His eternal feast of great celebration!
Because of Christ’s Love,
Chris & Jen