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Think Again!

From that time Jesus began to preach saying, "repent, [i.e. think again ]for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand."
απο τοτε ηρξατο ο ιησους κηρυσσειν και λεγειν μετανοειτε ηγγικεν γαρ η βασιλεια των ουρανων
-Matthew 4:17

Jesus: Kelvin! Mate! Have I got news for you!

Kelvin: Oh. Really? Listen Jesus, always nice to see you. But can you tell me quickly? I'm kind of busy here, being holy.

Jesus: Oohh! Important!  I'll be brief then. The Kingdom of  Heaven is very very close.

Kelvin: How close?

Jesus: What's that thing on the end of your arm?

Kelvin: My hand.

Jesus: That close.

Kelvin: Ok.

Jesus: Great news,eh!

Kelvin. Ah yeah. Terrific. So where is it then?

Jesus: What?

Kelvin: The Kingdom.

Jesus: So what are you using to type this post?

Kelvin: My computer.

Jesus: and....?

Kelvin: my fingers?

Jesus: Exactly!

Kelvin: Right. Look, don't want to be rude or anything, but I'm actually pretty busy.

Jesus: But can you see it?

Kelvin: What?

Jesus: The Kingdom. It's here!

Kelvin: Well, I hold a fairly well researched position on the existential tension between realised and non realised eschatology; the now and not yet if you will. I put a lot of thought into this back in the 80s. I've still got the books to prove it.

Jesus: Wow! Brainy! But can you see it?

Kelvin: As a concept the term "Kingdom" has, of course, metaphorical loading deriving from the first century milieu in which it was coined which needs considerable exegetical work it is to be contextualised in 21st Century Aotearoa/New Zealand

Jesus: Yeah sure... But can you see it?

Kelvin: There are several passages referring to the Kingdom, and one question is whether the Kingdom of God (την βασιλειαν του θεου ) and the Kingdom of heaven ( η βασιλεια των ουρανων) are the same ontological reality. On this point the redaction critics are somewhat divided.

Jesus: You can see it can't you?

Kelvin: ...

Jesus: You can't see it can you?

Kelvin: No.

Jesus: Think again.

           Think again, my love. Think again.


NIE said…
Jesus (continues): Sorry Kelvin, perhaps I shouldn't have said "think again". You're all good at that - too good sometimes. So here it is again:" Do" … "be" … for my kingdom to come. And I love you forever- that bit doesn't change.
Overhearing Kelvin and Jesus talking, Si pricks his ears up and coughs politely...,
Si: Excuse me Kelvin?
Kelvin: Hi Si, how's Nelson?
Si: Oh, rather quiet: feels like a break in the bad weather with some sun coming through the clouds.
Kelvin: I thought it was always sunny in Nelson?
Si: Not always. Kelvin, did I hear Jesus just tell you that the Kingdom was at the end of your fingers? I wonder, is it at the end of mine too? I sense something at my fingertips as I scroll through your reflections on the Motion 30 from General Synod yesterday.
Anonymous said…
Why not have a bishop for glbt and one for non glbt?
Kelvin Wright said…
I'm letting this anonymous post past the censor (ie me) because s/he asks a good question. What our church has done is set up a working party to decide on a structure or a set of procedures which will let both sides of the debate live together with integrity. In fact, having separate bishops is one possible structure, but IMHO the problems that would cause would outweigh the benefits and it would be pretty expensive.

This post about the kingdom isn't really about the LGBT issue, btw, but glad to respond anyway.
NIE said…
Sorry about my initial comment, Kelvin. I did need to "think again" and went back to the Gospel passage μετάνοια (metanoia).
It sounds as though Waitangi was a place of deepening relationships and a time to be thankful for being part of this Communion and its leadership here in Aotearoa & the Pacific.
I hope you are all resting a (tiny) bit and will make space to absorb all that has happened in the past week.
Lyndon Weggery said…
Dear Kelvin,
Reading your comments in the ODT today has left me somewhat shocked.You seem to imply that by incremental steps the Anglican Church in N.Z. will (with your support)move to ordaining homosexual clergy as a result of now supporting blessings of same -sex unions.
Such a move I believe is forcing Bible believing Christians to move from grace -based tolerance of this active lifestyle to acceptance as a norm. Because the Bible makes it clear that this lifestyle is not past of the emerging Kingdom of God I fear that you will put many evangelical Anglicans in a difficult position.
Kelvin Wright said…
Hi Lyndon. Thanks for your prayerful and sincere comment. In a way you encapsulate perfectly the dilemma we find ourselves in as a church. In response I want to make a number of points

1. I believe the Bible and read it daily
2. I regard myself as Evangelical in that, over the course of my ministry, I can point to many people who have become Christian or whose Christian lives have been helped because I have been privileged to walk beside them. Helping others to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the sole reason I do what I do.
3. I believe from my study of scripture and my experience of the working of the Holy Spirit that homosexual orientation is in itself no barrier to a person being ordained.
4. Jesus didn't teach that the Kingdom is emerging. He taught that the Kingdom is here.
Kate said…
I suspect I have asked you before Kelvin, but have you read 'The Little World of Don Camillo'?

I am still on my big clean-out and came across my copy and it's even more wonderful than I remember.
Kelvin Wright said…
No I havent read it. Should I?
Kelvin Wright said…
Im busy cleaning out also. I took an entire wheelie bin of paper out of my study. And managed to make about ten feet of badly needed room on my bookshelves
Kate said…
Yes, I think you might enjoy it. A wheelie bin-full is impressive.
Lyndon Weggery said…
Kelvin-I have only just got back to your blog and read your response to my concerns about the "Gay Christian" debate. In terms of the Kingdom of God which I still believe has come but not yet fully come we live by Kingdom ethics and as believers live a life of holiness within that tension.Following on from Acts 15 where the Early Church set rules for the new Gentile believers (including sexual purity) the Apostle Paul takes great pains to point out to the Corinthian Church(1Cor.6) some of the "old ways" that he believes God doesn't want them to relapse into.It is significant that Homosexual practice is listed here.Perhaps the answer lies in making a distinction between homosexual orientation and actual practice as the late Catholic priest Henri Neowen stood for.

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