“In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son with you I am well pleased'” (Mk. 1:9-11).
We cannot see as God sees, for the world is a fallen place. The curtain of heaven has dropped. The world seems to us duplicitous in its grandeur and terror, in its beauty and despair, in its capacity to provide for the unseen sparrow and its capacity to turn to ice. Creation is groaning in labor and in suffocation, the sign that is more than a sign that Mother Nature is ever losing her battle with Father Time. Every life she offers up to the heavens is snatched away and carried by a hand that points up only when it is dark. The heavens are dark this side of the veil. We cannot see as God sees.
But we can imagine. And God has so chosen to enable us to close our eyes and visit with an aching heart and unfettered thoughts a world with no more night, with no more goodbyes, with no more tears, a world with no more fatherlessness and angry seas–another world: this one–this world as he made it to be, this world as he is remaking it to be. And though we have lost our ability to see beyond the night, we have not lost our hearing and He has not lost His voice. Though the curtain has cast its dark shadow over our eyes, we can hear the Voice from behind the curtain ever calling us closer, insisting that we boldly look for the tear, that we charge toward the precipice of darkness believing that there is ground beyond the farthest horizon, light inside the darkest tomb, life in the face of the most faithful clock. The voice is calling us to believe that up there in the middle of the night the curtain is actually bursting at the seams with life, because the alien voice of a God whose name cannot be uttered is one and the same as the familiar voice of a Man whose name is Jesus.
“And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!'” (Mk. 15:38-39).
“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mk. 1:15).