I can’t remember a Christmas where I haven’t sung the words of Noel. As a young kid, I guess I never really understood why we would sing that one word, noel, over and over. Most of us would understand it as the French word for Christmas, but that’s not where it started.
When you look a bit further into that word you’ll nd that it comes from the Latin word ‘natalis’, which means birthday. And this for me was where the power of the song really came in to play. You see, you can go through this song thinking you’re singing about the story of some shepherds in a eld who get a visit from an angel, but actually this is a reminder of the very reason we have to sing, Jesus. This one birth was the start of God’s redemption story on the earth.
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11 ESV)
In Luke 2 when the angel appeared to the shepherds to tell them about the birth of Jesus, the first words the angel said were ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news’. I have learnt over the years that when fear is absent, peace will always be present. I wonder what our world would look like if everyone knew this peace! It would be pretty different to the world we currently live in.
Well, I have to keep reminding myself that it starts with me, and it starts with you. What does this peace look like in my own life? Does it nd itself coming out in the way I talk to other people and treat them? Does it change my understanding of how God views me? The answer of course is that it should do. It should change everything.
If there’s one thing I want to remind myself of in this Christmas season, is that this noel we sing of, is more than a song, it’s not just another birth. But it’s joy, love and peace that is fully active, and fully alive in my own life.
By Jay Cook
CONNECTION & ACTION
1. What does ‘noel’ personally mean to you?
2. What does ‘peace starts with me and you’ look like in the community?
3. How do you make sure that joy is fully alive in your own life?
– That the meaning of ‘noel’ stays true in our hearts
– Ongoing work of Hillsong Africa Foundation
– Safety in the community during Christmas season