Getting Ready to Receive, Day 5
“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.” ~John 1:6-9
Last night before bed, we were singing “The First Noel” with our 4-year old who proceeded to ask, “What does ‘Noel’ mean?”
Uhhh……….do you know? We sure didn’t.
Thank goodness for google. My search uncovered some discrepancy, but the basic gist is this: Noel comes from a combination of the Latin word natalis which means birthday, referring specifically to Jesus’ birthday, and the French word nouvelles which means news, referring to the good news of Jesus’ birth. And so, in “The First Noel” it’s basically defined as the first proclamation of the good news about Jesus.
You now have a fun fact to share at your next Christmas party between commenting on everyone’s ugly sweaters and discussing which unknown gift from the pile you’re going to choose to open. You’re welcome.
But seriously, while the angels got to sing the first noel, and John got to say the most noels, we still have work to do passing it along. It’s possible that the noel you share might be the first time someone else truly hears about Jesus as good news for them too. And chances are, it won’t be because you sing better than the angels or you speak more eloquently than John. It will be because you have a relationship with someone who trusts you, who knows you well enough to hear not only what you say, but to observe how you live and the difference Jesus has made in your life.
Just like John, we need to help other people get ready for Jesus, not just ourselves.
So, the next time someone cuts you off in the parking lot during this busy season or someone gets impatient in a long check-out line, try to swallow your own frustration and instead reply with some variation of noel. We have good news of great joy, just as the angels did at the first Christmas.
How will you share the noel?