By Jose Urbina
The Church is God’s crown jewel, a stone of many facets that reflects the glory of the King.
To best display every facet, that jewel is set firmly into an interwoven framework of the finest materials to adorn the Head.
The crown is a composite of jewels and framework.
The framework is a cohesive and indispensable part that functions in the background, providing support to the jewel while further enhancing its beauty.
This is the nature of the role of God’s faithful saints, the pillars of His Church.
Since we don’t live in a monarchy, it is hard for Americans to understand the importance of a crown. On her Christian radio program, Joni Eareckson Tada spoke recently about crowns.
A crown represents not only recognition, she said, but also a reward; a consummation; the end of an effort.
A crown cannot reflect the glory of the kingdom it represents if it cannot reflect light. This is why crowns are made with precious metals and jewels.
These elements aptly showcase a rare beauty not found in other pieces of work.
The church of Jesus Christ is such a work of wonder.
But without the light of God’s love and mercy; and without the grace by which we accomplish the Lord’s will on this Earth, we are simply lackluster.
In James 1:12, our God promises us a crown of life if we endure temptation, and I Peter 5:4 tells us that this crown will not fade away.
Crowns represent power.
They also represent legitimacy.
Only those who really merit a crown will obtain one. A crown also speaks of victory, triumph, honor, and glory.
But the object itself is not composed merely of jewels.
A framework must accompany the jewels to form that composite structure.
Without the framework, the jewels miss something essential to their glory.
The couples you’re about to meet form a small part of the framework that supports the crown jewel of the kingdom, the Church.
God’s saints who labor behind the scenes, who form the basic framework, are worthy of honor.
Andrés and Saney Camacho, who support the Spanish ministries at The Door Church in Tucson, also form part of the wonderful framework of God’s crown.
Saved almost seven years, Saney shares what brought them to the feet of Jesus.
“I was desperate. I did not know how I was going to make the rent,” she says. “Andrés used the little money we had on liquor or drugs.
I realized that if he were to change, God had to do it. I was tired of trying on my own.”
When Saney’s brother-in-law invited them to church, they remember, they were a mess.
“I did not want to marry Andrés, but I had no problem living in sin with him,” says Saney. “Then the Holy Ghost dealt with me: ‘You must get married, you must get baptized, and you must dedicate your children to the Lord.’” Andrés and Saney promptly complied.
What makes the Camachos part of the framework of the crown is their humility in service to the Lord.
That became apparent when I asked Bro. Andrés to help me with the Spanish production of our play, The Judgment.
“I’ll do anything you ask me,” he said, “as long as it is behind the scenes.” And he was serious.
We could not have presented the drama without him, or without the labors of so many others.
Art and Olga Garza were saved in January, 1984, at a home Bible study hosted by Herb and Cheryon Unruh. Married four years, they had two small sons and looked good on the surface.
But their marriage was in trouble, and after seeing the change in Frank and Joanne Rivera’s life, they accepted an invitation to come check out The Door Church.
“I had never heard the plan of salvation, and I was very broken and sad,” Olga says. “My husband and I wouldn’t speak for weeks, and I would go to the Catholic Church and light my candle and pray to some saint, thinking he would change our marriage.”
As Jesus Vizzerra brought the message at the Bible study that night, Art knew he had a decision to make. “I was at a fork in the road,” he tells young couples he ministers to today. “One direction would lead to temporary pleasures, a broken marriage, and separation from my two little boys. The other would heal my marriage and bring blessings to my children and grandchildren.”
Art made the right choice and gave his life to Jesus, and “something supernatural happened.
“God is very real, and I haven’t been the same since!”
He now ministers to other young men who face the same choices he did, encouraging them in the ways of the Lord.
As a nurse, Olga has had many opportunities to pray with patients, as well as her mother, grandmother, aunts, and other close family members before they went to eternity.
“God has given me hope and peace in times of trouble,” Olga says. “I have learned to trust in Him and not in myself or in people.
My family understands that Jesus is first in my life and what I stand for. In times of need, even though they may not be believers, they come to me for direction and prayer.
Our five sons and our grandchildren understand that we don't compromise on our Christian beliefs.”
Any success in the kingdom of God has largely to do with this quality in the hearts of His people; hearts that put service in the name of the Lord before their own honor.
These couples are but two examples; there are so many more, they can’t be counted, even here in our own local church.
Now think of how we are all knit together with God’s worldwide Church, past present and future! Each life dedicated to God’s service forms part of the crown’s framework.
Without the framework – the constant, quiet support of those saints who labor in the background without desire for recognition – the crown jewel could not shine forth the glory of the King.
The components of the crown work in relation with each other. Every part of it is precious and equally necessary.
Such is the Bride of Christ.