ON THE FIFTH day of Christmas my True Love sent to me five golden rings.
All linked together, five golden rings, complete and unbroken, signify a plan — the most important plan — the fundamental plan to vouchsafe creation from the grip of an enemy God knew about from before the beginning. These five golden rings are crucial states and transitions in the history of the world: creation itself; the fall; God’s covenant people; the Advent of the Messiah; the blessed people of the new covenant.
The divine plan for redemption,
Was a complete plan of perfection,
Son as Saviour to fulfil,
Obeying the Father’s will.
At Advent it’s so very appropriate to consider the vast expanse of human history in creation. Five golden rings are one way of seeing eternity in each of those five stages of history. These rings are each perfectly circular and irrepressibly golden. Gold is the colour of perfection, and the ring is the symbol, like in marriage, of something unbroken. Each of the rings depicted as golden and interlinked signifies the perfection in a plan — at every juncture — that would always work out for the purposes of God.
The plan in its perfection, each a solid gold ring, has these components:
RING 1: Creation is about Jesus — the perfection in the first Adam pre-fall, was bettered by the second Adam. This golden ring is about the boundless perfection in God’s original design.
RING 2: The fall is about Jesus — the purpose of the Incarnation. For no other central purpose did Jesus come to be the Christ. This ring is perfect because it evoked Jesus.
RING 3: Israel is about Jesus — all of Israel looked forward to the Messiah; the fulfilment of the law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah). This golden ring speaks of the rich history that precedes Jesus.
RING 4: Jesus, the centrepiece and capstone of creation, was not only the defender of redemption, but he was the purpose of creation itself — to underwrite perfection into creation. This golden ring is the Lord himself.
RING 5: The New Covenant people are about Jesus — we’re the benefactors of grace. This golden ring connects us, through Jesus, to eternity.
These golden rings are the gift that is all creation’s history that underpins the present and gives us confidence for the future.
History teaches the hope in God’s redemption plan; when all seemed hopeless the Lord sent his Son into the world.
On the fifth day of Christmas my True Love sent to me five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tree.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.