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The First Noel

What was it really like that first Christmas? A small middle-eastern town was packed with people on account of a mandatory census. Shepherds were keeping watch over their sheep throughout a cool night. People were unaware of the eternal implications of a new birth, a divine King.

Noel?

Noel is the French word for Christmas, from the Latin word “natalis” meaning birthday.

noel

Photo credit: Gilles Couteau (cc)

Announcing the Savior’s birth

“The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay:
In fields where they lay a keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel.”

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven,  and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” (Luke 2:8-15)

A sign of the divine

“They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far:
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel Noel Noel Noel
Born is the King of Israel.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.”

“The wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matt. 2:9-11)

The King has come

The newborn King came to be enthroned in the hearts of mankind. Many things in this world compete for your affections — busy schedules, the pursuit of comfort, an endless hope for gain, assurance and guarantee from harm. Many things can keep your focus off of Jesus.

Will you crown Jesus your King?”

The challenge

Enthrone Christ in your heart. Do not allow temporal and perishable things overtake a relationship with God.

What competes with the newborn King in your life? Share your comments below.

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