Day 12: Reign of God
At a Glance
Coming Reign of God
Dr. J. Kameron Carter, Associate Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies
Ezekiel 47; Psalm 85; Revelation 22:1-5,20-21; Mark 13:32-37
Reflections on the Lecture
Today Dr. J. Kameron Carter talked to us about how the Reign of God is at the core of all that we have explored during the Duke Youth Academy. Following two weeks of engaging in intentional Christian formation, we began by reflecting on all our previous themes of Baptismal Theology, Creation, Covenant, Incarnation, Passion, Resurrection, The Church as Witness, Reconciliation, and Vocation. Weaving in scenes from the movie "The Matrix," Dr. Carter brought to light how when we live into Christian understanding and practices that are centered on Christ we are re-birthed into the kingdom of God both in the present and in the future. While this is certainly not an easy process, we can be assured that the God who chose to be with us at the beginning still chooses to be with us today. This process begins with our incorporation into Christ through baptism and continues in our ongoing need for Christ expressed through prayer. The Reign of God means that we are not alone; we are invited to participate in a relationship of being with God. Only when we are in right relationship with God are obstacles removed enabling us to be in relationship with each other living in true community that is centered on Christ.
“The identities that have been assigned to us as humans are interrupted and re-made by the kingdom of God as the core of our Christian identity.” — Dr. Carter during morning plenary
"The Church is not the limited sphere of what God loves; the Church witnesses to the fact that God loves the world." — Dr. Carter during morning plenary
This afternoon was a time of fellowship, rest, and reflection for the whole community. After setting aside time to pack, students were able to enjoy free time on Duke’s campus, finish conversations that had begun earlier in the two weeks here, and prepare for the transition home. In the evening, DYA Director Katherine Smith led us in worship, imagining how Revelation 22 paints a picture for us of what it means to go home. Students received an anointing for their Christian vocations before sharing in the eucharistic meal with their mentor groups. We closed the evening with yet another feast: ice cream sundaes out on the terrace. It was a wonderful end to an amazing two weeks!
Go in peace.