The Church Forests of Ethiopia, a parable.
This film by Jeremy Seifert is simply stunning.
A moving image of a church holding something together for the whole of creation, whilst literally everything surrounding it is scraped away.
It’s not about remnant or retreating, it’s not about building barriers between ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’, or fears of the future.
But it is about preserving something – right at the heart of religion, ritual and community – which affirms (and protects) a particular story. The story holds the goodness and diversity and interconnection of life, people, planet.
It’s a story of resistance against those who want to dehumanise others and the earth.
The full story about the Ethiopian Forest Churches can be found here;
It reminds me of of what Bonheoffer struggles (rightly) to articulate, when he speaks of ‘arcane disciplines’ even as he calls for a ‘religionless Christianity’.
He was asking, what does the ‘Gospel’ mean, how do we even speak (act and being), when there is very little appetite for religion left.
‘Arcane discipline’ is his struggle to express the value of the ‘old stories’/ ‘old practices’ which maintain something of a bigger picture about the world, humanity and the depths of love and justice.
I wonder if this film contributes to these enormous thoughts.
Take nine minutes out of your day to marvel at its many layers..
And feel free to comment!