Along with thousands of other people I spent the August bank holiday weekend at Greenbelt; the festival where faith, arts and justice collide. This years theme was “Saving Paradise”. There was lots on offer to help us engage with this concept; from talks and workshops, to music and comedy, through performance art, children’s activities, prayer, worship and even the paradise laden mud.
I nodded in agreement with the demands for acceptance and tolerance in society; I was overjoyed to hear affirmation of volunteers and grass roots charity work; I laughed at the possibility that churches might get in the way of saving paradise; I pondered deeply on the ways we can put our planet ahead of ourselves; I prayed for the future we all have a responsibility towards; I agreed with the power of the internet and how it can be used for good; and I personally proposed the need for support of families whose babies die before birth, not to save paradise so much as to save individuals.
After a day reflecting on the weekend’s offerings I still don’t have an answer for how we can save paradise; but I do know what I mean by paradise. It’s that place where God’s love is known and felt by and between all people no matter who they are or what they experience.
I also have come to know for a fact that if we all talked about paradise and God’s role in it more, then there’d be a better chance of getting closer to it; whatever it is.
And so today I hand this over to you.
- How do you define paradise?
- And how do we save it?
Photo: Rachel Major, Paradise Arch, #GB12.
Note: Written before the theme suggested!