Once Jesus was asked when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; 21nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”
Yesterday (Sunday, September 27, 2009) was the Fifth Sunday in Kingdomtide, or it would have been, if we had not given up on Kingdomtide as a liturgical season.
(After writing that last sentence, I checked on line to find that we are not the only United Methodist Church that continues to celebrate Kingdomtide, but we are a small minority.)
Kingdomtide just never caught on. Initially, it seemed to have a lot going for it, not the least of which is that stretching out Pentecost, and counting the Sundays after Pentecost, is pretty boring. It also made sense because the fall lectionary texts emphasize building up the Kingdom of God. But it was doomed by the combined weight of liturgical purity and the concern (which I share) for looking beyond exclusively masculine terms for God. God is not a King.
But the Kingdom of God is the focus of the Synoptic Gospels, and building up the Kingdom of God has been a uniquely Methodist emphasis.
Whatever we call it, we need to do it.
I liked the season, because it reminded me of our focus as the church. We don’t just save souls; we are supposed to transform the world. That’s our prayer and our mission.