Ausbund, 123 (Ich bin durch die Welt gegangen)
Let me sing of a wonderful garden,
Bearing fruit every month of the year.
So carefully kept and guarded,
The glory of God walks there!
In beautiful clarity God is the light of the garden. In it no sin, no evil, survives.
When the first man and woman sinned he drove them out and set a fiery sword at its gates to keep them from coming back, impure. But God had mercy on the children of men. He heard the cries of the poor and sent his Son to be born of a maid.
From heaven he came, moved by grace and love, to open the way to the garden again. Driven by mercy he showed us the way back to God.
That way is rough. Going ahead of us, Christ suffered many strokes. He suffered persecution and shame—but he calls us to follow him. He is the Way to the garden. He is the door. He holds the key. No one comes to the Father except through him, and whatever he opens no one can shut in his face.
Christ calls from the beautiful garden: “Come to me all that suffer and I will give you rest! If you listen to me you will live forever in joys no man can describe!”
Back to the garden—back to where Adam fled because of his sins—Christ leads all that will zealously, faithfully, follow him. God made the garden ready for all that obey his word. But no proud sinners may come, no one that chooses to walk the broad way with the crowd.
Would you like to live in the garden? Would you choose to flourish in the beauty and blessing of God? Turn from deception! Doing the will of God lets you enter the gate to his garden and exult at the fountain of the water of life.
The pure in heart may see God. He receives them like a father his children, to remember their sorrows no more. Therefore, praise God! Praise him for renewing his covenant and leading us back to Paradise again!
With the promise of Eden before us, how eagerly, willingly, we forsake the world! We forsake it with all its goods. But to speak of it alone does not count. It takes action!
Remember, to enter the garden,
You must do what the world does not:
Let go of all things and enter,
Before its gate swings shut!
anonymous Anabaptist writer, 16’th century, Europe