Earth’s First Noel


“Every year, people sing songs like “The First Noel” at Christmas, and many wonder what a “noel” is. In French, joyeux noel means “Merry Christmas.” Our modern English word comes from the Middle English nowel, which Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defined as “a shout of joy or Christmas song.” The roots of the word are the French noel (“Christmas season”), which may come from the Old French nael. This, in turn, is derived from the Latin natalis, meaning “birth.” Since Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, it was natural for people to refer to the celebration as the “nativity” or the “birth.”

– “What is the meaning of Noel?”,

I wondered about this word “noel.” So when I did some research and found that one of its meanings is “shout of joy,” I knew I wanted to explore that idea further. Beyond the Christmas carol, Christians carry this spirit of Noel with us all year long. The coming of God’s own Son to redeem us is truly cause for us to shout with joy.

Will you join me in shouting of His love today?

“This is Christmas: not the tinsel, not the giving and receiving, not even the carols, but the humble heart that receives anew the wondrous gift, the Christ.”

– Frank McKibben –

The beginning wasn’t anything to take you by surprise.

A woman laboring hard, her husband by her side,

A child birthed into a world of filth and noise and sin,

A countryside asleep and a country dead within.


Of all the ways for a God to be born, in a stable out of sight,

When He could have split the heavens, he could have lit up the night.

But he lay inside a trough, a sight reserved for the least,

As the shepherds paid their homage to the birth of heaven’s King.


Earth’s First Noel broke forth, a chant over the trees,

While the sheep looked on in wonder, the shepherds fell on their knees.

A royal birth announced with a song that Christmas night.

Earth’s First Noel was a cry of joy, a glimpse of coming morn,

“The God above wills good to men, and the promised Christ has come.”


Across the sands, across the years, I think of the height,

Of the love of the God of ages, only hours old that night.

I smile at the caroling, full of wonder, full of peace,

Wond’ring if I’ll hear someday the song that bid the shepherds to the feast.


When the Last Noel breaks forth, a trumpet through the trees,

While the world looks on in terror, the saints fall to their knees.

The royal King announced with a song of piercing light

Earth’s Last Noel, a cry of joy, the birth of eternal morn,

“The God above wills good to men, and the promised Christ has come.”

“For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

– Isaiah 9:6-7, NKJV –


6 thoughts on “Earth’s First Noel

  1. ^^ Then you need to look it up, Shelbie-dear! (Knowing you, you probably already did.) I played that song years ago at a piano recital before I knew about Andrew Peterson (I heard the song as recorded by Randy Travis, of all people!) and Daddy sang it.

    I love seeing you pursue poetry. 😉

    1. You actually heard me sing this one to you, remember? 🙂 It’s still got a lot of arranging to go (and probably needs a different singer :P) but I really enjoy poetry/songwriting.

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