December 19, 2014

 

Romans 1:16-17
The First Noel

The word “noel” is a French word originating from the Latin meaning “birthday.” So when we sing the popular Christmas song, The First Noel, we are literally singing about the first birthday! Christmas marks the birthday of Jesus and we can all certainly relate to such a celebration. Birthdays bring about much anticipation for children and provide an opportunity to gather family and friends to eat cake. Birthdays are awesome!

But Christmas does not only point to the birth of a child, but also the birth of salvation coming to humankind. The song itself moves us from the individual to the masses: the news of Jesus’s birth was first proclaimed to the shepherds but in the final stanza the phrases “let us all” and “mankind hath brought” remind us that Christ came to redeem the world. Paul is not ashamed of this good news because it is the power of God that brings salvation (life, hope, meaning, restoration) to all who believe—the Jew and also the Gentile. Let us celebrate what the birth of the child and the birth of our salvation means to us today!