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THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS [a New Year's Review of our Faith]

12 Days:  Between December 25th and January 6th.  They were separated in the Western part of Christendom so that Christmas could fall on the last day of the winter festival – Romans called it the Feast of Saturnalia, Northern Europeans called it Yuletide. … [the celebration of the rebirth of light after the winter's longest night.]  In non-Roman cultures Christians celebrate Christmas on January 6th, "the Epiphany" [God's "appearance" or "revelation" to humans through Jesus.

My True Love:  God, who "loved the world so much that He sent His only son..." [John 3:16]

On the 1st day … "a partridge in a pear tree"  Partridge = gentle, humble, blends in [because of camouflage] and is willing to sacrifice itself to protect its family.  Pear Tree = Mary, a human mother, and "the tree" [cross on which Jesus died for us.]

On the 2nd day … "2 turtle doves" [symbols of love, come in pairs]  2 divisions of the Bible [Old and New Testaments] which record God's ongoing relationship with human beings. [66 (or 78) books together 39 in OT, 27 in NT, & 12 in Apocrypha.]

On the 3rd day … "3 French hens" [very special ones]  3 basic qualities of the Christian life -- Faith, Hope, Love [1 Corinthians 13:13]

On the 4th day … "4 calling birds" ["colley birds, i.e. black birds or coal miners birds, which were "messengers" or "guardians" of life.]  4 Gospel writers -- Matthew, Mark, Luke, John -- who tell is the stories about Jesus' words and works to bring us life in all its fullness.

On the 5th day … "5 golden rings" The Torah or Pentateuch -- the 1st 5 books of the Bible, also called "the Law" or "the Books of Moses."

Genesis tells of God's creative plan, human attempts to live without God, and God's ongoing attempts to guide us. Exodus describes God's saving grace and desire to "redeem" humanity from the bondages in which we enslave ourselves and others.  This grace is described through the story of the Israelite nation's liberation from slavery in Egypt and formation into a unified nation in the Promised Land.

Leviticus describes God's "laws of life" which are offered as a guide to help people become the kind of community God intended for all humans.

Numbers describes the many ways in which God continues to relate like a parent to people who sometimes respond to God's leading, but many times insist on going their own way.

Deuteronomy is a "2nd telling" of the story of Moses and God's saving actions out of love for humanity.

On the 6th day … "6 geese a-laying"  The 6 "days of Creation" [Genesis 1] in which God created the universe which was to be our "Garden of Eden," the place where we could "be fruitful and multiply" and be partners with God in Creation.

On the 7th day … "7 swans a-swimming" [swans are elegant, graceful birds that symbolize beauty and serenity]  The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit [Romans 12:6-8] Witnessing, Serving, Teaching, Encouraging, Sharing, Supervising, Befriending

On the 8th day … "8 maids a-milking" [behaviour that results in spiritual nourishment]  The 8 Beatitudes [Matthew 5:3-10] outline the values that nurture a relationship with God Spiritual yearning, Awareness of Loss, Humility (i.e. aligning one's will with God's), Good will, Showing mercy, Purity of heart, Peacemaking, Steadfastness in the face of cultural pressures to compromise your spirit

On the 9th day … "9 ladies dancing" [graceful, attractive, makes others want to be like you]  The 9 "fruits of the Holy Spirit" [Galatians 5:22-23] "by their fruits you shall know them" Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Openness, Temperance (Balance)

On the 10th day … "10 lords a-leaping" [powerful, agile, enthusiasm for life]  The 10 Commandments [Exodus 20:1-17] which are a summary of God's "Laws of life" which describe how humans should relate to God and each other in order to find life in its fullest form.

On the 11th day … "11 pipers piping" [those who were "sent out" to share the Good News with the rest of the world  The 11 faithful apostles [Mathew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16] Simon Peter, Andrew, James & John, Philip & Bartholomew, Thomas & Matthew, James the Less" & Thaddaeus (Judas), & Simon the Zealot [plus unfaithful Judas Iscariot]

On the 12th day … "12 drummers drumming" [the drum beats that inspire us as we march into the "battle of life"]  The 12 points of the Apostles' Creed [#918 in VU] 1) God, the Father 2) Jesus, the Son 3) Descent into Hell (i.e. victory over evil) 4) Resurrection from death 5) Ascent into heaven, seated at God's right hand 6) Will come again 7) Holy Spirit 8) Christian Church, the body of Christ 9) Communion of Saints 10) Forgiveness of sins 11) Resurrection of the body 12) Life everlasting

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About Us

Wesley is situated in the historic civic square in downtown Galt, adjacent to the Cambridge Farmer’s Market, the historic City Hall, and the new City Administration building.
Wesley is part of the United Church of Canada, the largest Protestant denomination in our country. The United Church of Canada prides itself on welcoming everyone the way Jesus did, regardless of age, race, class, gender, orientation, or physical ability.

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Wesley United Church

6 Cambridge St.
Cambridge, ON
N1R 3R6

Office Hours
Tuesday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm

Phone

519-621-6060

Sunday Services

Beginning at 10:30am

United Church of Canada

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