Aaron Waid
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December 23

The First Noel

The First Noel, the Angels did say

Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep

On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel

Born is the King of Israel!

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!

Then let us all with one accord

Sing praises to our heavenly Lord

That hath made Heaven and earth of nought

And with his blood mankind has bought.

Sing praise

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel

Born is the King of Israel!

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Today’s Devotion

The word “noel” is a French word that refers to the Christmas season. The root of this word is a bit more obscure, though many believe that originally derived from the Latin word “natalis”, which means “birth”. Of course, we also see the influence of this Latin word, “natalis” and its reference to birth in our English vocabulary today, such as the term “prenatal” for a pregnancy, and “neonatal” to describe the care and study of babies.

In other words, at least for the purposes of this discussion, “The First Noel” means essentially, “The First Birth”. Obviously, Jesus was not the first human being ever born, but in regards to the spiritual rebirth that we all experience upon entering into relationship and reconciliation with God, Jesus was the First Birth.

In his birth as a little, innocent baby that couldn’t even hold his head up, Jesus entered the world as a new model for human beings. The Christ child was free from the bondage of Adam’s failure, as Paul reminds us in Romans 5:12, “When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned.” 

But in Jesus, a new path for human beings was established – the chance for our lives to change drastically and align more with the birth of that Christ child – new life, fresh and clean. This is why Paul also continues his thought in Romans 5:19, “Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.”

Jesus is that obedient person. He experienced that First Birth, and lived it out successfully and with the utmost holiness.

But, what does this mean for us right now? Sometimes these thoughts feel very lofty and disconnected from our daily life – so how can this change the way we act and feel right now?

Put simply, God has created the avenue for a new chance at life, here and now, and eternal. All the things that we might hate about ourselves, or wish that we didn’t do, or carry deep regrets about – we need to know that God has a deep hope and vision that we can put those burdens down and step into the life of rebirth and renewal.

The purity of Jesus’ birth is a representation of the way that we too can experience in the loving grace of God. We aren’t doomed to the failures and mistakes of our past. No, we are destined to be new creatures with new sensibilities and plan for life, serving and worshiping God.

Christmas should be a reminder that we are never lost or forgotten by God, and that God doesn’t simply want us to settle, but instead, we should always strive for a deeper connection and understanding of who God is and what he’s done in our lives. Jesus birth reminds us powerfully of just how much God really loves us.

And he does. He really loves you, even as you read this. He loves you, and he wants you to be his little baby again, and be grown and raised by him into the child he wants you to be.


God, I pray that we can all deeply feel your love, and know that there is no weakness or shame in turning to you like a small child. We are lost, confused, dismayed, and usually do not know the right direction to turn. Lord, I pray that we might be able to let go of the pride that keeps us from fleeing into your presence, and instead recognize and capitulate to the reality that without you, we will always be enslaved to doubt and fear. You are amazing, and we praise and thank you for your love and mercy. Amen. 

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Christmas, Christian, Devotion