684

There in God's Garden

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

In Revelation, John beholds the tree of life, which bears twelve kinds of fruit and whose leaves “are for the healing of the nations.” The tree is personified in this hymn text as Jesus Christ himself, whose passion, death, and resurrection offer “healing, strength, and pardon” to all peoples and nations. Péceselyi’s poem is also a confession of our sin and an assurance of our pardon, as we commend ourselves to God using the very words of Christ, who on the cross commended himself to the Father.
 
Sing! A New Creation
 
 
Inspired by a Hungarian Good Friday poem on the tree image in Scripture, Erik Routley’s text personifies the tree of life in Revelation 22:2 as Jesus Christ, whose death and resurrection, offer “healing, strength, and pardon” to all peoples.
 
Bert Polman

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).
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There in God's Garden

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Thanksgiving to Jesus Christ for his Passion
Lord Jesus Christ, savior of the nations, you were willing to suffer that we might be healed. You did not hold yourself aloof from human misery, but took the worst of it to yourself. You did not let the cup of sorrow pass, but drank it down. We give you humble thanks, that you did all this for us, your weary ones. Holy Jesus, we give you humble thanks. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

O Jesus, you know the anguish of our human lives.
As one who sees the pain of those who suffer,
bring comfort, peace, and strength.
As one who has experienced the agony
and tears of losing loved ones,
comfort all who grieve.
As one who wept over the faithlessness of your people,
send your Spirit to correct us in our unfaithfulness.
As one who understands the agony of those who have been deserted,
stand alongside those who feel alone and abandoned today.
As one who was once forsaken by all others,
give hope and assurance to those who feel rejection.
As one who knows the ravages of violence,
bring peace and healing to those who are tortured by enemies.
You, our Lord, have offered up prayers with loud cries and tears;
hear us when we do the same.
We approach your throne of grace with boldness.
May we receive mercy and grace in our time of need. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two
684

There in God's Garden

Tune Information

Name
SHADES MOUNTAIN
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
11.11.11.5

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Fitting for any time during the Lenten season, the text also allows the song to be sung during a service of confession and assurance or perhaps following communion. In addition, the poetic nature and triumphant tune make it appropriate to use during profession of faith, baptism, or remembrance of baptism. One option is for the person professing or being baptized to read a stanza or two of the text while the music is played underneath. Or, if they are willing, have those professing or a small group sing their favorite stanza as a small choir or solo.
 
Here are a few additional suggestions for using “There in God’s Garden”:
  • Have a choir introduce the first few stanzas of the song, with the congregation joining in no later than stanza 5, which is a proclamation all should sing.
  • Invite children to sing this song or have the text read in their Sunday school classes; encourage them to draw pictures based on the images they sing about or read in this text. These images either could be projected during a worship service, used as bulletin covers, or held by children as they walk the aisles with their own drawings while the congregation is singing the song.
  • Have a soloist sing stanza 4 as “the Voice” that welcomes the weary.
  • Use full accompaniment and instrumentation with a trumpet on the final stanza, or create a descant by using the tenor line.
  • Try not to rush this hymn; instead make sure to savor the rich text and strong tune.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 102)
— Brenda Kuyper
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