Jewels come in unexpected settings.
Take Corinth in ancient Greece: more rock than mineral.
Rocks piled into rude temples to designer gods.
Rocks hewn out with curved grooves where heads were laid so necks could be severed.
Rocks scattered down, a Roman highway to bring in refugees from across the world.
Rocks propped up for businesses—and in one of these three diamonds glowed.
These were not the jewels of vain display, but industrial diamonds, hard tools for work—three gems brought in from two other settings, shining with the pastel hue of otherworldly mystic Judaism and bright with the golden brocade of this-worldly Imperial Rome.
Their task was to cut out temporary dwellings of leather, while they constructed permanent houses for the spirit.
The foundation they laid as they plied their trade with their fellow sojourner Paul,
and risked their necks, as he said, to defend him,
and ordered the doctrine of Apollos more expertly,
and oversaw settings for other Christians in Ephesus and Rome and now Corinth
was far more mineral, though it was also rock:
for such gemstones are rocks of God transformed by the shifting weight of glory, then hoisted up from the depths of multicultural mines by divine hand to show God’s glory against the barren dullness of human despair and by that beauty light the world.