There is an interesting place in Arkansas called Crater of Diamonds State Park. It is a public diamond mine in which anyone can dig for diamonds at no charge. People find diamonds there often, in fact, over 70,000 diamonds have been found there since 1906. The largest diamond found in the United States, called the Uncle Sam Diamond, was unearthed there in 1924. Somebody discovered it just by looking around in the open air mine. It weighed 40.23 carats. By comparison, the Hope Diamond in the Smithsonian Institute weighed 45.52 carats.
In 2015 a diamond was dug up that weighed over eight carats, so it certainly hasn’t played out yet.
Diamonds fascinate people because they are rare. The best of them are beautiful and they come in many different colors including blue, yellow, brown; but the most valuable seem to be the clear ones. They reflect light in different colors depending on how you turn them. People pay a lot of money for the really good ones and they are treasured highly.
In Ephesians 3:1-12, Paul talks about the “rich variety of God’s wisdom.” That phrase reminds me of a diamond. The church is like a diamond with many facets. Turning it from side to side shows different views of its beauty.
One facet of the church’s beauty is its diversity. People of all ages, races, genders, and economic situations gather in one place in unity despite their differences. In the church I serve, you might sit next to someone with a hefty bank account on one side of you and someone barely getting by on the other. Your seat might be next to someone who is black, white, Asian or Caucasian. The church, and the love of Christ, brings people together who have almost nothing in common. They care for one another as brothers and sisters. They socialize with each other even though they are far apart. It is a beautiful thing to see the love of God expressed in the unity of such different people.
Worship brings the church together despite differences in musical style. Some like traditional hymns, others like newer worship songs but they can all sit together respecting the heritage of the traditional while embracing the freshness of the new. There is enough love for each other that personal preferences can be put aside for the sake of brotherly and sisterly love.
The church is not perfect, most diamonds aren’t perfect either. When people get together conflicts inevitably develop. This is true even among God’s Body. Those conflicts, though, can be solved in love if the mercy of God prevails.
The church is a diamond that reflects the wide richness of God’s wisdom as it brings together people from vastly different backgrounds. It truly is a treasure.
Rob Morton is minister of First Christian Church Middlesboro. Contact him at [email protected]