Not 5 golden rings, but the story of the parents of John the Baptist. Jesus' cousin, John, has a large role to play in the gospels and in history. And while we read the story of Jesus' birth by jumping around, if you read the gospels straight through all of them begin the story of Jesus by talking also about John. Today's reading comes from Luke and uses several words and phrases that Luke repeats quite often in his gospel--people ponder and they are amazed--and strangely (for a gospel written for Gentiles), Luke reminds us of what devout and observant Jews, Jesus and his family were.
Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, "No; he is to be called John." They said to her, "None of your relatives has this name." Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. All who heard them pondered them and said, "What then will this child become?" For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. Luke 1:57-66So on the fifth day of Christmas, perhaps we should take a few moments to ponder what kind of child of God we will become since God has come in our midst.