So often we can sing songs, without fully appreciating the meaning – especially common with old hymns, where the language can be old fashioned or complicated. Sometimes words are used that are no longer in common use. Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing is a good example where we sing ‘Here I raise my Ebenezer’ – not Ebenezer Scrooge from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but here meaning ‘rock of help’.
So it got me thinking to the Christmas Carols we sing, in particular The First Noel.
Noel, in simple terms is French for Christmas, as in ‘Joyeux Noel’ or Happy Christmas. So the first Noel, refers to the first Christmas, or the day of Jesus’ birth.
But buried in the etymological history of the word is another glorious meaning…
“A shout of joy at Christmas for the birth of the Saviour”
What a wonderful word! So in the same way we can sing and shout hallelujah (praise the Lord) or hosanna (a shout of praise, or ‘he saves’), we can use Noel at Christmas time as a shout of joy, to celebrate his birth. Joyeux Noel to you all!