Day 1: The First Noel

by Dec 1, 2020Christmas 2020, Devotional, Songs of Christmas

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

Our daughter was born around Christmas and my husband loved the idea of Noel as her middle name.  I wasn’t sold at first, mainly because I thought it was a cheesy nod to the season of her birth, but he won me over by re-framing it as instead half of each of her brothers’ names (Noah and Elias).  When she arrived, I held our little Lily Noel in my arms and felt that her name was perfect.  She was truly our first Noel.

The lyrics in this carol describe that Jesus was born “On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.”  And indeed, my third time at it, I knew exactly how cold and deep the nights with a newborn could feel.  But that year, with our daughter, something shifted.  Maybe it was the previous experience I had on my side this time.  Maybe it was finally understanding just how fleeting those nights would be. Maybe it was welcoming the reprieve of the nonstop noise and chaos and hustle that typically fills a house with small children around the holiday season.

Whatever it was, I was able to enjoy those wee hours when only my daughter and I were awake. Gone was the exhaustion and anxiety that usually accompanied those times with my older children.  I would rock our new baby in front of our Christmas tree, the twinkling lights mesmerizing her, while the star on the top of the tree mesmerized me.

This star drew nigh to the northwest

O’er Bethlehem it took its rest

And there it did both stop and stay

Right o’er the place where Jesus lay

That year, those cold deep nights were not a burden.  They were a gift.  I was able to stop.  I was able to stay.  I was able to focus on the gift God had given the world in the form of the tiny King. As promised, with His birth, God had prepared for us all a resting place.  Our first Noel taught me how to use it.

Day 16: Silent Night

Silent night, holy night All is calm, all is bright 'Round yon virgin Mother and Child Holy infant so tender and mild Sleep in heavenly peace   Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing Al-le-lu-ia!...