The Tree of Life
Choir, SATB or 2-Part with Organ

This arrangement of Stephen P. Starke’s “The Tree of Life” is paired with the tune THE WEXFORD CAROL. The text depicts the fall of Adam and redemption through Christ, framing both in imagery drawn from the Garden of Eden. This arrangement matches the changing tone of the text through the four stanzas—from innocence through shame to redemption and triumph, finally ending with quiet assurance. An optional C instrument part is included.

This composition is published through Concordia Publishing House:
SATB and 2-Part

1.  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 women 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.

2.  The stillness of that sacred grove
     Was broken, as the serpent strove
          With tempting voice Eve to beguile
          And Adam too by sin defile.
     O day of sadness when the breath
     Of fear and darkness, doubt and death,
          Its awful poison first displayed
          Within the world so newly made.

3.  What mercy God showed to our race,
     A plan of rescue by His grace:
          In sending One from woman's seed,
          The One to fill our greatest need--
     For on 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!

4.  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 its 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.