Friday, March 23, 2018

Christmas Devotion: Noel

As a way of saying “Thank You” for your partnership and friendship, Heart of God International is sharing with you a Christmas Meditation based on a different Christmas Carol each morning from now until Christmas Day.  We pray you will be blessed as you enjoy a few minutes of reflection during this busy season of celebration and remembrance! God bless you this Christmas!


Now All Is Well:  Noel 


We have all received a Christmas card at one time or another greeting us with “Noel.” It is a French word and has come to mean either “Christmas” or “carol.” In this particular carol, it is used as a shout of joy at the birth of Jesus. It probably is derived from the Latin word “natalis” meaning “birth.” When the word found its way to England, it was spelled “nowell” and came to mean “Now all is well,” because that is what the angels told the shepherds when Christ was born.

The song is probably the oldest popular carol in the English language, handed down by custom over the centuries. Finally, it was harmonized and printed in 1833 in William Sandy’s “Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern.” The music is assumed to be from a French or English medieval shepherd’s tune.



The first noel the angels 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.

Noel, noel, noel, noel.
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw 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. Chorus

And by the light of that same Star
Three Wise Men came from country far,
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the Star wherever it went. Chorus

This Star drew nigh to the North West;
O’er Bethlehem it took it’s rest.
And there it did both stop and stay,
High over the place where Jesus lay. Chorus

Then did they know assuredly
Within that house, the King did lie
One entered in then for to see
And found the babe in poverty. Chorus

Then entered in those Wise Men three,
Full reverently upon bended knee,
And offered there, in his presence,
Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. Chorus

Now let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of nought,
And with his blood mankind hath bought. Chorus

“Born is the King of Israel!” Hallelujah! The last verse sums up the entire carol … “Now let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord – the Lord that made heaven and earth from nothing and with His blood bought the redemption of all of mankind” (paraphrased).

The traditional Christmas carols seem to speak volumes, proclaiming the story of Jesus, and writing it upon the hearts of men, women and children everywhere as they sing the words over and over and over again. Even the unbelieving in this world find themselves singing these words and others like them from various other carols which were ultimately written to bring praise and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why not spend a few moments in the quietness of your own heart (if you can contain it) and think of the Reason for this season and every season. Can there be found any greater reason to sing and rejoice and give glory to the Father? Rejoice … “Born is the King of Israel”! From the depths of your heart, rejoice, though not just today, not just the week before Christmas, but every hour of every day!

Lord, thank You for the gift of Life that lives within me. Help me to share this most precious Gift with all. Oh yes, I am rejoicing … the King of Israel – my King – the King of kings and the Lord of lords lives within my heart, amen!

“On the next day much people that were come to the feast,
when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him,
and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that
cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:12-13)



© Jan Ross

All Rights Reserved

The First Noel (also written The First Noël and The First Nowell) is a traditional classical English carol, most likely from the 18th century, although possibly earlier. The word Noel comes from the French word Noël meaning Christmas, from the Latin word natalis which translates as birthday”. In its current form, it is of Cornish origin, and it was first published in Carols Ancient and Modern (1823) and Gilbert and Sandys Carols (1833), both of which were edited by William Sandys and arranged, edited and with extra lyrics written by Davies Gilbert for Hymns and Carols of God. Today, it is usually performed in a four-part hymn arrangement by the English composer John Stainer, first published in his Carols, New and Old in 1871. Variations of its theme are included in Victor Hely-Hutchinson’s Carol Symphony. The melody is unusual among English folk melodies in that it consists of one musical phrase repeated twice, followed by a refrain which is a variation on that phrase. All three phrases end on the third of the scale. It is thought to be a version of an earlier melody sung in a church gallery setting “The First O Well”; a conjectural reconstruction of this earlier version can be found in the New Oxford Book of Carols.


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