Kingdomtide

Above:  Most of My Sources for This Post, January 5, 2018

Photograph by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

From bottom to top the sources are:  The New Handbook of the Christian Year (1992,) The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), The Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965–one copy printed before the merger that created The United Methodist Church in 1968 and one afterward), and The Book of Worship for Church and Home (1945).

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In the first edition of The Christian Year (1937) the Federal Council of Churches proposed renaming the season after Trinity Sunday; the proposed name was Kingdomtide.  The second edition (1940) replaced that proposal with another one.  The season of Whitsuntide began after Whitsunday, also known as Pentecost, and ran through late August.  The next season was Kingdomtime, which filled out the rest of the church year, yielding to Advent.  The Book of Worship for Church and Home (The Methodist Church, 1945) contained resources for these two seasons.  The Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) changed Whitsunday to Pentecost and Whitsuntide to the Season after Pentecost, and retained Kingdomtide.  The United Methodist Book of Worship (1992), however, contained the Revised Common Lectionary (1992), with its long Season after Pentecost, bookended by Pentecost and Advent.  Prior to 1992, however, The United Methodist Church had adopted the Common Lectionary (1983).

Kingdomtide, with its emphasis on the Kingdom of God, is a season some Protestants–mainly some Methodists hither, thither, and yon–continue to observe despite the fact that the Revised Common Lectionary has supplanted a variety of lectionaries around the world.  I bring up the topic for one reason, which is that the old lectionary I am following for a series of posts drawn from The Book of Worship for Church and Home (1965) includes the season of Kingdomtide.

Speaking of the Kingdom of God, that term has more than one meaning in the canonical Gospels.  On occasion it refers to Heaven, as in afterlife with God.  Sometimes the translation more accurate than “kingdom” is “reign,” without a realm.  On other occasions, however, the reference is to a realm, so “kingdom” is a fine translation from the Greek.  This is the case of “Kingdom of Heaven,” which the Gospel of Matthew uses all but four times.  As Jonathan Pennington argues convincingly, “Kingdom of Heaven” is not a reverential circumlocution–a way of not saying God, out of reverence–but rather a reference to God’s rule on the Earth.  Thus the Kingdom of Heaven and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21 and 22) have much in common.  Furthermore, frequently the language of the Kingdom of God in the canonical Gospels indicates that the kingdom belongs simultaneously in the present and future tenses; the kingdom is here, but not in its fullness.

There is also the matter of Realized Eschatology.

C. H. Dodd, writing in The Founder of Christianity (1970), made his case.  He argued:

God, the eternal, the omnipresent, can hardly be said to be near or farther off at this time than at that.  If he is king at all, he is king always and everywhere.  In what sense his kingdom does not come; it is.  But human experience takes place within a framework of time and space.  It has varying degrees of intensity.  There are particular moments in the lives of men and in the history of mankind when what is permanently true (if largely unrecognized) becomes manifestly and effectively true.  Such a moment in history is reflected in the gospels…..It would not be accurate to say that Jesus brought in, or set up, the kingdom of God.  That was the work of God himself, whose perpetual providence, active in every part of his creation, had brought about this significant moment, and the most significant feature in it was the appearance of Jesus himself.

–Pages 57 and 58

The nuances of the Kingdom of God are fascinating.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 5, 2018 COMMON ERA

THE TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE NEUMANN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA

THE FEAST OF ANTONIO LOTTI, ROMAN CATHOLIC MUSICIAN AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT GENOVEVA TORRES MORALES, FOUNDRESS OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS AND THE HOLY ANGELS

THE FEAST OF MARGARET MACKAY, SCOTTISH HYMN WRITER

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Expanded on January 6, 2018, the Feast of the Epiphany

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Posted January 5, 2018 by neatnik2009

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