We’d love to claim that we came up with this vision but it’s actually one that someone else dreamed up such a long time ago that we simply know that period of history as “in the beginning”.
The vision for Eden was, is and will always be what God has had in mind for humanity.
Put quite simply it’s about:
– Encounter with Him
– Relationship with each other
– And the mission of extending the borders of Eden so wide that all people get to become a part of Gods dream for the world
You see, we were made to be loved by, and to love, our God. He created on this earth a sanctuary, a safe place (Eden), where we could be with Him and know how perfectly He loves us. We believe that, while this earth no longer lives up to the standard of that sanctuary in its current state, God has poured out His Spirit so that we might know Him and begin to see that dream, which we call the Kingdom of God, start to reform in the world around us. While we believe that God can be found and known at all times in all places, we also believe that there is something incredibly special about the times when people come together to worship God and to discover Him in His word. So at the heart of this event we will come together to worship Him and find Him through the Bible and by waiting on His Spirit.
We were also made to be in relationship with each other. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this before but prior to Eve arriving in the garden of Eden Adam is simply known as ‘the man’. It’s only when Eve arrives on the scene that they have names. You see being in relationship with other people actually helps us to discover who we really are. It also makes us realise that we’re not alone and that we can lean on and support each other, we can do life together with each other and with God. So this event will be cased and bound up by us purposefully creating space where we can get to meet new people and start to journey together, doing relationship with each other.
Finally Eden wasn’t meant to be abandoned, and it wasn’t meant to stay as a small garden with only two people in it. God’s dream for the people and for His sanctuary was that they would push it’s borders further and further out across the earth, that eventually through them the whole world would come to be within the borders of Eden and that everyone would know the fullness of life that comes from encountering Him and being in relationship with each other. We see this dream realised at the end of the Bible where the small garden of Genesis one has become a big city with gates wide open and called the new city of peace. And when we encounter this picture we read alongside it the words “and God made his dwelling with man”, just what He had dreamed up in the beginning.
Right now we live somewhere in between the garden and the city. But we believe that the kingdom of God (anywhere that His rule and reign have been accepted, a place of freedom, peace, joy, restoration and forgiveness – Eden) has already started to come, just as Jesus taught us. We believe that God can be encountered now, that He made us to love and support each other now, and that He calls us to push back the boarders inviting all to come into Eden and encounter Him now. So this event will be passionately pursuing ways in which we can enable young people to find out about, and get involved with, exciting ventures that are already doing amazing things to see the Kingdom of God break in, in and around this city.