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Friday, December 16, 2016

12142016 - Wednesday of Third Sunday in Advent - "5 Golden Rings"

December 14, 2016
5 Golden Rings
In the opening scene of “13 Hours” the contractor that is arriving in country via plane wakes from a nap and pulls out and opens an Altoid container.  He carefully and methodically pulls off the one remnant that is his connecting point with the outside world and his beloved family, his golden wedding ring.  Quickly he slips the ring in and closes the container and places it inside his shirt pocket.
So often in our Western culture in order to ‘show our love’ there are large sums of money that change hands in order for a couple to declare their love with a gift that symbolizes their love for one another.  Both for the engagement ring as well as the wedding bands used in the ceremony.  Tonight we come to a point in learning about the 12 Days of Christmas where God declared His love for all of mankind.
In our series we have connected the Apostle’s Creed, the Apostles, the Commandments, the Fruits of the Spirit and the Beatitutdes.  Sunday we heard about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how God created the universe in 6 Days, but tonight we come to “5 Golden Rings”.  Unlike the multi-colored rings of the Olympics that have instant recognition of what is occurring, the “5 Golden Rings” in the 12 Days of Christmas Song are not just a symbol, but a clear declaration of love from God for all of mankind.
The “5 Golden Rings” when sung are the ‘poignant pause’ that occurs like when we confess our sin on Sunday mornings.  In the confession of sin, I say, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  But”  At this point I purposefully pause during our confession, because what is said next is clearly a truth and declaration from God to and for all of us who are gathered of Who forgives us our sins.  It is God Who forgives us.
Tonight the “5 Golden Rings” point to and demonstrate God’s unending love for His children in the first 5 books of the Old Testament.  These books are known as the Pentateuch and are the books of Moses that chronicle creation, the fall of man, the promise of the coming of the Savior and how the children of Israel continuously turn away from God and would then return back to God.  These “5 Golden Rings” are not ‘nose ring’s’ but a clear demonstration of how God’s love never ends, even when His chosen people turned away from Him.  For God’s love recorded in Scripture is the reminder we daily need of God’s love for us no matter the circumstance, no matter how we have turned away from God.  Like a ring, the “5 Golden Rings” are to be a reminder of God’s love for each and every one of us that never ends.
Yet, why should this be important for us tonight?  Simply it is because like the “5 Golden Rings” God’s love never does end no matter what we have done.  God forgives us, picks us up, dusts us off and loves us unconditionally.  How does God show us this?  Plainly and painfully by His Son Jesus Christ death on Calvary.  For it was Jesus willingness to die in order that we will be given eternal life.  And like no beginning and no end of a ring, the “5 Golden Rings” are symbols of God’s unending and unconditional love not only for the Israelite people, but for each and every one of us gathered here tonight.

May we tonight, not only hear of God’s love for us, but be willing to share it in our singing the 12 Days of Christmas Song.  For when we share God’s love for us and joyfully share the meaning and application of the “5 Golden Rings”, God will with a poignant pause, not hide the ring from others, but He will place His never ending Golden ring of love for us on our fingers with our baptism.  And He will clearly embrace us as His own.  This occurs, because God’s love does not end and we find the perfection of His love in His Son and our Savior, Jesus Christ Who was promised to the Israelite people in the Pentateuch and we believe in His love for us when we sing about the “5 Golden Rings”.  AMEN.

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