Thursday, October 15, 2009


Long before the age of Personal Digital Assistants, there was an abbreviated version of the term 'Public Display of Affection', namely PDA. If you've ever been a sponsor on a school or church trip attended by teens, or are a teacher or administrator at a public or parochial school with teens, you are very familiar with this term. Public displays of affection take many forms depending on one's age and the depth of the relationship. As a relationship deepens, PDA can move from holding hands to putting an arm around the other persons' shoulders and even kissing and public. But probably considered to be the greatest PDA of all would be the presentation of an engagment ring and the proposal of public.
The inception of the engagement ring itself can be tied to the Fourth Lateran Council presided over by Pope Innocent III in 1215. Innocent declared a longer waiting period between betrothal and marriage; plain rings of gold, silver or iron were used earliest.

As for that big rock of an engagement ring, the first recorded diamond engagement ring was presented by the Archduke Maximillian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy as a betrothal gift in 1477. And thus began the tradition of this ultimate the jewelry sense.
As Christians, we have an ultimate PDA too. Our ultimate PDA doesn't involve the giving of jewelry, but the giving of LIFE. 1 John 4:9-10 states: "9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (NIV)
And Romans 5:8 states: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (NIV)

God set His Son AMONG public. That Son walked and talked, healed and taught, and ministered among public. And that Son died a cruel death for public. That Son was resurrected, walked the earth another 40 days and public. That Son will come public. That Son has a name.

It is the ONLY name by which anyone can be saved (Acts 4:12). That Son's name is Jesus, and He is THE ultimate Public Display of Affection...God's affection... for you and me.

NEXT POST: Confession and Glass Cleaner

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Hope

The 45.52 carat steel blue Hope Diamond was found in India back in remote times as a rough crystal weighing 112 carats. It first came to light when Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the noted French traveler of the 17th century, was approached in India by a slave who had a very secretive manner about him. It turned out that he had in his possession an intriguing steel blue stone which at first look seemed to be a large sapphire, but the well-experienced Tavernier soon realized it was a diamond – the largest deep blue diamond in the world. Tavernier purchased the stone and smuggled it to Paris, where he later sold it to King Louis XIV. It was cut there into a triangular pear-shaped stone weighing 67.50 carats, and was then known as the French Blue or the Tavernier Blue.

The legends of the ill-fortune following the possessor of the Hope Diamond are many.From the start Louis XIV of France, for whom Louisiana was named, had ill-fortune follow him, perhaps deservedly as he was a despot and harsh ruler. Other wearers of the jewel at the Court of France might well have given credence to the legendary curse. Princess de Lamballie and Marie Antoinette followed, and both were guillotined during the French Revolution when the 'French Blue' was looted along with the rest of the French Crown Jewels. After a long disappearance, it mysteriously emerged at auction in England as the 45.52 carat wonder that we see and know today.

Long story short, every owner of The Hope Diamond had much trouble befall them up to and until it was donated to the Smithsonian Museum in 1958 by Harry Winston. All this cumulative trouble has been dubbed 'the curse of the Hope Diamond'.

As a christian, when I think of the word hope I don't think of the word curse....I think of The Word - Christ.
Jesus is our hope and our salvation. When we have Jesus as our Savior, we possess what scripture calls 'the hope of glory' (Colossians 1:27). Indeed much of Bible scripture tells of this hope we (believers) have in Jesus Christ. Now that's not to say that those who possess 'the hope' of Jesus won't experience trouble in their lives, quite the contrary. Jesus said (John 16:33) "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
THIS is our hope of glory: We too will overcome the world by the power of Jesus Christ who lives in us.

When I see the Hope Diamond and remember the legend of its curse, it reminds me that in this world there will be trouble...for everyone. But it's those who put their faith and trust in Jesus that have the real... the true... the eternal... Hope.