Wedding Diamonds – Unspoken Homily

Wedding Diamonds – Unspoken Homily

Wedding Diamonds- Unspoken Homily.

Let me tell you a little story. Millions of years ago, a hundred miles underground, there is a lonely piece of carbon, like a piece of charcoal. It was nothing in particular, nothing very special in any way. Just a piece of material buried in the heart of the earth. But then an amazing thing happened. 2,000 degrees centigrade. And a huge pressure builds, hundreds of thousands of pounds in one inch. And a miracle happens. A diamond is created, ready to be unearthed.

It’s not surprising that diamonds are the gem of choice when an engagement is celebrated. The diamond ring is the symbol of a promise, and heaven knows the diamond is only the start of a whole lifetime of promises in marriage. Of course, the cost or size of the diamond is immaterial. As Bishop Ryan says, “One measures the value of a ring by the quality of the love it represents, not by its cost.” But it all starts with a diamond.

So what is so special about the diamond? I must say here that I have a good friend, Bev Iber, who is a gemologist, and she was a wealth of information about diamonds. Anyway, we all know some of the qualities of diamonds. For one thing, the diamond has luster, with its intense reflected light from not only the surface facets but also from the deep insides of the stone. Diamonds also have clear transparency which passes the light perfectly due to the absence of other hues. Diamonds also have what is called luminescence, which means the diamonds have the ability to absorb light energy and release it at a later time. Mere daylight is absorbed and shines out later on, so the stone literally continues to sparkle. Also, diamonds are the toughest natural material known. The only material strong enough to scratch a diamond is another diamond. The diamond has been called “the ultimate light-handler” by gemologists. For the diamond can take in the white light of the sun and then refract all the colors of the rainbow. As symbols of marriage go, we probably couldn’t pick a better one than the brilliant, resilient and beautiful diamond.

So here you are, _________ and ________, 2 diamonds in the rough uniting to become one bigger diamond in the rough. According to gemologists, during their growth period 2 crystals that were close together often literally grow into each other to form a single crystal. And that is what is happening in your marriage. Not only that, but in the diamond world, smaller diamond crystals have been found inside of a larger crystal. Think of that picture… a small diamond hidden inside of a larger diamond. By inviting Christ into your marriage, you too are becoming one within Jesus, “the immortal diamond.” (Gerard Manley Hopkins). Your relationship of love is a place of divine love, the very presence of Christ in your relationship. “Where two come together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. 18:20). That’s why marriage is a sacrament.

It’s interesting that Christ in his beauty and strength is described as a diamond in Rev. 4:3, “And the one who was sitting on the throne looked like a diamond and a ruby. And there was a rainbow encircling the throne that looks like an emerald.“ So you are wise to welcome Christ to be a central part of your transformation from a rough cut to a shining jewel within a jewel.  Not only are you in Christ, but this is a good time to think of the Holy Spirit as the Master Cutter. And He graciously wants you to have a hand in cutting and polishing your new diamond begun today. Think of yourselves as apprentice cutters under the Master, as you live with each other and have your inevitable influence on each other in your daily life together. Consider yourselves living into something radiant and durable.

I have to say here that your helping to shape and deepen each other with God’s help is not an easy exercise. And I hate to say this, but realistically, even though the word diamond comes from the Greek “adamas,” meaning “unconquerable,” diamonds are not necessarily forever. Here are two things that would more than likely frustrate or stall the cutting and polishing of your precious diamond.

First, every diamond cutter knows that if the diamond is cut the wrong way, it can actually fragment and lose its value. In your marriage, if there are deep scratches of unfaithfulness, disrespect, or a pattern of disdainful distance, then your diamond could very well shatter into pieces around you. Also, even one facet cut wrongly will throw off the entire symmetry of the stone, and thus will not effectively reflect the light entering the stone. There will of course inevitably be small scratches and superficial cuts in your daily life together. But learn from them, grow into your oneness through these eventual times when you rub each other the wrong way or simply display your humanity. You will find with God’s help that your diamond will retain its luster and resilience. So first, then, be careful of how you cut each other in the process of your living as one.

Second, here is another quality of a diamond to keep in mind. Diamonds are actually combustible. Because a diamond is made of pure carbon, an interesting thing happens when one is exposed to high temperatures: It vanishes. That’s right, a diamond disappears in extreme heat. In fact, in every candle flame there appear millions of nanoparticles of diamonds, only to disappear in the heat of the flame. So be careful if you notice yourselves getting hot during the inevitable differences of perspective or personality, or when you are wrestling with an emotional issue. As James tells us in his epistle, “See how the tongue can be a fire… Out of the same mouth can come forth blessing and cursing.” So be aware of your home temperature, and choose your battles wisely. In order to keep your diamond lustrous, transparent and in one piece, control your emotions with each other, with God’s help. Remember that adding more heat than light to your marriage discussions could go far in shrinking your diamond and frustrating your relationship. If the temperature rises, help each other to cool down, so your beautiful diamond won’t become diminished or blemished. Keep an eye on your thermostat, so the diamond won’t burn.

So as you are apprentice cutters together in Christ, a jewel within a jewel, be careful that you don’t disastrously cut too deeply or add too much heat. Diamond-cutting is as much an art form as it is a science.

Third, diamonds have the unique ability to slow down the fastest thing in creation, the speed of light. “The diamond is nature’s standard-bearer for the beauty of slowing things down” (Helen Czerski). When light hits the diamond, it slows the speed of light down to 41% of full speed. Light then reflects inside the diamond off of the inner facets, the inner light bouncing around inside, creating the brilliant colors. So, as you continue living together in this sacrament of marriage, as your diamond is shaped together, remember to slow things down, take the time to enjoy each other without hurry or distraction. Your potential for brilliance will be realized, and your relationship will continue progressing from the rough to the smooth, from the unclear to the luminous. In fact, as God’s inner light reflects inside your relationship, light will be that much more powerful. “When you hold a diamond, you’re as close as you’ll ever get to holding light, as it dawdles through the crystal.” (Helen Czerski). May your marriage be just such a light.

One final thing about diamonds… They have so many facets, so many sides and angles that bring out its color, character and quality. Your love for each other and for God has produced a brilliant diamond, and depending on the light, the life situation, these facets can easily be seen in your life together. These facets can be experienced in everyday life, they can be seen in real time, and are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is incredibly patient; Love is gentle and consistently kind. It refuses to boil with jealousy when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Rather, love means showing honor to each other. Love is not easily irritated, or overly sensitive, or quick to take offense. Love joyfully celebrates truth and honesty, and finds no delight in what is wrong or unjust. Love is a safe place of shelter, like a roof covering a house. Love never stops believing the best for others. Love never gives up and never stops loving.” (Passion Translation).

So here we see, with the help of Scripture, the facets of your diamond of love. Being… Patient. Kind. Generous. Humble. Courteous. Unselfish. Even-tempered. Gracious. Loyal. As your love grows in the rough and tumble of everyday life, these facets will be reflected in the light more and more clearly. May your diamond of love reflect the supernatural agape love of God, the only Source of the love that will last. You are able to love, because God loved you first. And in your love, you will find God, the Source.

Finally, one more thing. Your united diamond is unique, and gloriously so. Each of you is made in God’s beautiful image, so in your union you are bound to uniquely reflect God’s glory in a totally distinctive way. As you help to smooth the rough edges and shape your diamond, do your best to make each other shine in its sparkly toughness. Find out what is life-giving to your spouse, and help to make it happen.  As you absorb and reflect the light of Christ, you will find that your destiny together will participate in the very glory of God in the world. And you will look a lot like the new Kingdom as described in Rev. 21:11, “… And the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God. It had all the glory of God, and glittered like some precious jewel of crystal clear diamond.” Your marriage can be a part of that sparkling kingdom.

May you, —— and —–, being “living stones” in Christ, reflect the magnificent glory of God. May God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit guide you and take part in transforming your diamond in the rough to one of purity, durability and brilliance. Amen.