We sang this Stephen Starke text this morning as a hymn during the distribution of the Holy Eucharist. The more I sing it, the more I love it.
The tree of life with ev'ry good
In Eden's holy orchard stood,
And of its fruit so pure and sweet
God let the man and woman eat.
Yet in this garden also grew
Another tree, of which they knew,
Its lovely limbs with fruit adorned
Against whose eating God had warned.
The stillness of that sacred grove
Was broken as the serpent strove
With tempting voice to Evil beguile
And Adam too by sin defile.
O day of sadness when the breath
Of fear and sadness, doubt and death,
Its awful poison first displayed
Within the world, so newly made.
What mercy God showed to our race,
A plan of rescue by His grace
In sending One from woman's seed,
The One to meet our greatest need -
For on a tree uplifted high
His only Son for sin would die,
Would drink the cup of scorn and dread
To crush the ancient serpent's head.
Now from that tree of Jesus' shame
Flows life eternal in His name:
For all who trust and will believe
Salvation's living fruit receive.
And of that fruit, so pure and sweet,
The Lord invites the world to eat,
To find within this cross of wood
The tree of life with ev'ry good. (LSB 561)