Is there a connection between the biggest diamond ever, and the small Laotian rock rat?
Without wishing in any way to stereotype, is it true that most/many/some women would love to own a large diamond (is that really true?….help me out here!). Anyway, part of the English Crown Jewels is made from a 530-carat Star of Africa, cut from a 3100-carat gem. For a long time it was thought to be the biggest diamond ever.
Then in February 2005, what happened? News broke of a discovery of “the diamond of all diamonds”. This dazzler was given the romantic name: BPM 37093. Phwooaaar!
It was bigger than all the other known diamonds put together. You won’t believe me if I tell you it is bigger than the moon (I hardly believe myself)!
It measures 2500 miles across and weighs a staggering 10 billion, trillion, trillion carats (1 followed by 34 zeros). The Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics said, “you would need a jewellers magnifying glass the size of the sun just to grade this diamond.”
They added that the diamond is the heart of a burnt out star; a massive chunk of crystallised carbon that lies about 300 trillion miles from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus. The nearest I could get was the Death Star….!
I suppose it’s reasonable to ask if we can expect to find a bigger diamond-sized planet, who knows?
Which leads us to the rat….
Another recently discovered phenomenon is the Laotian rock rat. This rodent has features that match squirrels, guinea pigs and chinchillas, scientists found that differences in the skull, bone structure and DNA were significant enough to reveal a distinct, never-heard-of-before rat family.
Robert Timmins, who discovered it with the Wildlife Conservation Society said, “To find something so distinct in this day and age is just extraordinary. For all we know, this could be the last remaining mammal family left to be discovered.”
“For all we know….”
That’s just it, isn’t it? Diamonds and rats: newly discovered macro and micro, both revealing that our knowledge base as humans is incredibly limited.
And there is so much more to be exposed and made known.
Unfortunately, most of us, at times, act like we know it all, like it’s impossible someone else might have valid insight or evidence to contradict our theories, ideas or knowledge. Our ‘trenches of certainty’ cause nothing but ugly scars on the landscape of God’s world.
And in the process we close ourselves off from other amazing discoveries and experiences still waiting to be explored.
October 31st 2016 is the 499th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The day in 1517 when a lawyer turned Augustinian monk, Martin Luther (who Mike Reeves rightly calls: ‘God’s Volcano’), nailed 95-Theses (points-of-argument/debate) to the Catholic church door in Wittenburg, challenging the Church to move away from Empire and power and greed and magic and falsehood and deception and return to the liberating truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Luther had (re)discovered the greatest secret ever: We are not justified (made right) before God by our goodness; our righteousness; our confession; our piety; our religious duties. God makes us right by gift and grace.
He read Romans 1:16-17 and it blew him away. If he had been alive when the diamond sized planet was discovered, I imagine he would have said,
“That’s nothing! Look what I’ve discovered!”
“16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it (gospel) the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written (Hab 2:4), “The righteous shall live by faith.”
By faith in Jesus Christ; by the faith of Jesus Christ. We are here today because Martin Luther discovered the central, beating heart of the Gospel. In Luther’s own words, after venting considerable rage at God who he thought constantly punishes, he writes:
“…I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. . .[then]… . At last, by the mercy of God. . . . I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely faith. Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates.”
And this is not only about the moment of conversion. It is about every day. No-one just believes once to secure the Golden-Ticket of Salvation, as though Jesus is a Willy-Wonka kind of Messiah!
It is right now too.
For all we know…..
There are many yet-to-be discovered diamonds and rats. And there’s still our amazing God with more juicy secrets up His divine sleeve than we can ever think or imagine, and that includes more truth from a living and active Logos.
Maybe the diamond planet is God’s engagement ring to humanity!
Scripture does tell us we are the Bride of Christ! And every rat is invited.
For all we know…..