Don't you just love Christmas carols? Singing to celebrate our Lord's coming to save us from our sinful selves is such joy!
Let's continue our Christmas Carol lessons with The First Noel. Noel comes from Latin, through French meaning "birth." This rich carol tells of a one-of-a-kind, first & all time birth. The coming of God to earth as a human. This rich carol can teach us lessons today too.
The first Noel the angel 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.
You're a shepherd. A societal outcast. Cast out because you've got a menial job. Cast out because you got a smelly job. Cast out, well because your job keeps you out with the sheep & not in town. But you are doing your job. Watching your sheeps & hangin with your peeps when... An angel. An angel appears & God's glory shines round your shepherd band. Terrified. Dumb struck. Frozen.
"Don't be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." the angel says in Luke 2:10. I'm not a shepherd, but I have a question: Do I fear God’s power? Do I fear God's awesome power? His righteousness & justice? Or do I fear his mercy & grace? Which do I deserve more?
For all to see there was 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.
You're a smart person. At the top of the societies pyramid. At least close. You've got lots of education & enough means to support yourself in pursuits of the mind. You & your intelligentsia pals notice a new star. One of you connects that star with a new king. It's a great star. It must be a great king. Let's roadtrip.
"We saw his star in the east & we have come to worship him," says one wise man in Matthew 2:2. We get pretty busy in our hustle-bustle days. So I gotta ask, do I see God’s signs? When God shows up, am I paying attention? When God lights the answer to my prayer up in neon do I notice? When He points one of those big arrow signs toward his will for me do I see it?
And by the light of that same star The wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent, And to follow the star wherever it went.
And when I do see God pointing the way - when I am clear He has a plan for me to follow - do I obey? Do I follow God’s lead? Do I get up & get moving? Do I change direction because God has changed my mind? What am I gonna do about it?
Then let us all with one accord Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made heaven and earth of naught, And with his blood mankind hath bought.
If you were a shepherd outcast outside Bethlehem, then were one of the first to know the great news, of great joy for all people. "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord," Luke 2:11 tells. Wow! Lowly me? The King. The Savior. Came for me?!
How good is that news? How many people would you be telling? Facebook status. Twitter tweets. Texting homies. Skypin far off friends. Emailing your entire address list. Or just plain talking & telling the news. It hurts me to think, with how much - or how little - enthusiasm do I share God’s story? A story of salvation for all people. It's my news to tell!
Fear God's grace.
See God's signs.
Follow God's lead.
Share God's story.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel.