What is the will of God? Which way should I go? - The Garden of Commandments shows God's standards to the visitors. Young people from nine districts in Hessen and Rhineland-Palatinate have hammered, sawed, painted, filmed and written in order to enable a special encounter with the commandments of God at the IYC in Hall 6 on an area of 600 square metres.
In the very first room there is an elaborately designed Golden Calf, decorated with pictures of snickers, money, cars and luxury items. Today there are many possibilities to sin against the first commandment "I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me". Even though many things seem professional, the young people have designed everything with their own means. Hannes Herber, district youth worker in Wiesbaden, who was head of the project, emphasized that "the garden of commandments was completely financed by the youth funds." He has been involved in setting up the garden of commandments since Tuesday afternoon. "From Northern Hesse to Southern Palatinate, young people spent 14 months creating the single modules for the exhibition. It is exciting to finally see it as a whole!”
Thinking about one's own responsibility
The result is overwhelming: everyone can find a topic here that touches him in particular. "I do a lot of online shopping on Sundays. At the station with the fourth commandment `Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy`, I once again thought about whether that was really necessary," says Christina from Switzerland.
Dark and at the same time impressive is the station of the fifth commandment "You shall not murder". Images of crimes and victims of violence get under your skin. Large photos and display boards of animals damaged by plastic and destroyed rainforest show to what extend the commandment applies. "Actually, the commandments are always about doing something that brings peace – whether with oneself, with parents, with one's neighbour or with God. As I walked through the garden of commandments, I really felt the power of the commandments - quite different from just reading them," says Alain from Switzerland.
Impressed are also Jana (14), Emilia (13) and Cosima (14) from Western Germany. They sit at typewriters in one of the last rooms. This is about the "eleventh commandment" of Jesus. Charity can be practiced by typing letters, packing them into envelopes and deposit them in order to please later visitors. You may then take another letter for yourself. "God loves you as you are," Jana read in her letter and felt that she had received a precious gift.
In many places one is encouraged to participate, whether it is writing down thoughts, taking photos, scanning QR codes or to wash the feet of someone else, following the example of Jesus.
A tip for the tour: "It is good to pilgrim through the garden of commandments with a little bit of time and rest," says Hannes Herber. "It is not an exhibition in which you simply look at a few pictures. Here you can mirror yourself in the commandments of God and question your status quo." Benches in the rooms help you to get involved with the topics and to reflect on them.