The Christian church is the people of God that live into the full range of reality as it is. It is broken and at the same time beautiful. And while we’ve been caught up into God’s saving reality, its fullness isn’t here yet.
In Mark 2:19-20, Jesus alludes to this paradox for his disciples.
Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
Jesus’ followers don’t long for God’s salvation like others do, because it has already come. Jesus is with them (and us), so we celebrate!
But he’s not here like he should be and as he will be. Our current experience, then, includes lament and longing for God’s salvation to come.
Joel Marcus captures this paradox:
Thus both elements, absence/death and presence/life, are given their due weight within Markan Christology: Jesus has been physically absent since his death, but that absence is, paradoxically, the means by which his presence is achieved. For it is through the eschatological events of his death and exaltation to God’s right hand that he has gained the power to be dynamically present with his church everywhere (Mark 1-8, p. 238).