The first noel is a beautiful song about the story of Jesus birth. It incorporates all the traditional players kind of.
I love the song The First Noel and originally chose it as the first song for our Epiphany journey. Unfortunately I forgot to look at my list yesterday and was so caught up singing Mary Did You Know all morning that I used it instead. Nothing wrong with that, it just isn’t how I planned to start this process.
When listening to the song The First Noel the ‘first’ thing I want to know is what does Noel mean and where did it come from. I turned to my favorite tool, Google, of course. I got a few answers so I had to decide which I believed were most reputable. I went with one I’ve trusted throughout our journey through the scriptures; Gotquestions.org. They list the origins of the word as French.
Another source I found, Altalang.com, lists the origins of Noel as Latin. I’m not too certain I trust them as I am having trouble finding their original word, nasci, in scripture. Their second word, natalis, is found several times in reference to “birthday”, but not in the context they claim it is from. I used Strong’s Concordance that is embedded in Biblestudytools.com to look up this information. After chasing down the links provided, I see some validation for this conclusion but none linked to the book of Ecclesiastes as was suggested in the original source. I did find “As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything” (Ecclesiastes 11:5), and “The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:11-12). Maybe I should take the “beware of anything beyond these” to heart and stop with this search.
Suffice it to say, we equate the song, The First Noel, with the proclamation of the angels to the shepherds. But if you look at the words of the song it also speaks of the wise men in the east. The shepherds didn’t need to follow the star. They were told where to look. All they had to do was to check the stables around Bethlehem, of which they were most likely VERY familiar. The wise men followed the star and were brought to the home of Jesus. And the Epiphany season commemorates their journey so that is why I chose this song for our journey.
May we search for Him as diligently as the wise men did.
Father God, thank You for Your gift of Your Son. Lord Jesus, thank You for allowing Yourself to become like me. Your birth as a babe was the beginning of my salvation work. It was also the fulfillment of the promise God made to Eve the day she and Adam were expelled from the Garden of Eden.
I pray the words I share here bring You glory and tell of Your redemption story. Let me add NOTHING that is not in Your will and word. I LOVE this season because even those who don’t think of You any other time of the year, pause to wonder at the TRUE reason for this season. Your birthday might not have been on December 25 but it is certainly the day the world has chosen to turn their hearts as one to Your story. Even THIS is a miracle from You.