Jesus Christ crown of thorns and nail

The word “diamond” is derived from the ancient Greek word adámas, which means unbreakable. Diamonds are the hardest known material on the planet. They are formed deep below the earth’s surface when pockets of carbon dioxide encounter extreme heat and high pressure. These unique conditions cause the carbon atoms to bond together. Over time, something beautiful and sought after is created.

On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States of America announced its ruling in the landmark case known as Obergefell v. Hodges. The ruling granted same sex couples the right to marry under the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The verdict was less an exercise in truth and justice as it was an affirmation of the wants and desires of our society. This should not surprise us. The Church exists in a world that is not its home, in a world that does not share its values, in a world that does not share its desires. We in the West have not always felt that tension. We have been blessed to live in a society rooted in biblical truth. We have enjoyed having our values shape our communities and instruct our leaders. But that is quickly changing.

As the West departs from its Judeo-Christian roots, the Church is faced with the question, “Who will be our Lord?” Will we conform to live in harmony with the predominant views of our society, or will we stand with the Word of God, putting our comfort and our privilege on the line?

The question is troubling, but by faith the answer is clear. We will stand with the One who died for our sins. What will come of this? Only God knows, but we must remember that the diamond is formed under pressure and heat. Throughout history the world has tried to break the Church, and yet, by the power of God, the Church remains unbroken. Instead, under pressure and heat, it is shaped and refined into something set apart for the glory of God, something beautiful, a vessel for the gospel, shining forth to those who are lost, like a diamond in the rough.

Rev. Troy Tysdal is Director of Communications and Prayer for the Church of the Lutheran Brethren and serves as editor in chief of Faith & Fellowship magazine.

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