Crumbling Horizons (February 13, 2012)

…Opening To…

I caught a glimpse of Your splendor in the corner of my eye the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. And it was like a flash of lightning reflected off the sky, and I know I’ll never be the same. (Third Day, “Show Me Your Glory”)

…Listening In…

Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain where they were alone. He was transformed in front of them… (Mark 9:2-3; context)

…Filling Up…

Imagine you are strolling down a pier on the cold, rocky coast of Massachusetts. You stop, lean your elbows on a metal railing, and look out at the vastness of the ocean before you. You can feel the impatient energy of morning and smell the sun about to rise. First, the door of the sky opens just a crack and lets a sliver of light ripple across the face of the water. Then, all in one breath of reckless animation, the sun spills out of the distant horizon, red and complete.

Then something strange and altogether unexpected happens. As the sun continues to rise, you notice the line of the horizon crumbling into the ocean. With the horizon gone, the thousands of miles of brooding Atlantic open before you. You see the waves crashing into the northwest coast of Spain. You see skiers flying down the slopes of the Alps. You see oil derricks pounding the banks of the Caspian Sea. Abandoned missile silos in Kazakhstan. Mongolian shepherds driving their flocks. The Great Wall of China. The DMZ. Tokyo skyscrapers. The Pacific Ocean. California a distant speck but growing…

You snap your eyes shut and grip the metal railing. You’re overwhelmed, unsteady on your feet, nauseous. Your brain attempts to catalogue all the far-flung images you just saw. But it shuts down, unable to process this excess of information. After several weak-kneed minutes, your heart rate begins to slow, and you hesitantly reopen your eyes. The horizon has returned to its accepted place at the end of the reach of your vision.

Near as I can tell, this is how Peter, James, and John must feel during the event known as the Transfiguration, in which Jesus becomes “dazzling” in front of their eyes and they see some friends from the Hebrew Scriptures. We’ll be talking about the Transfiguration this week, so get excited! (to be continued tomorrow…)

…Praying For…

Dear God, your Son revealed to his disciples the dazzling beauty of his close relationship with you. Help me to nurture my relationship with you so that when others see me, they see you through me. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that with you all things are possible.

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