My song today is the Christmas carol, ‘The First Noel’. This old Christmas carol is of Cornish origin. Its current form was first published in ‘Carols Ancient and Modern’ (1823) and ‘Gilbert and Sandy’s Carrols’ (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’.
Whenever I think about the title of this hymn, ‘The First Noel’ meaning ‘The First Christmas’, I instantly start to imagine what it must have been like to have been there ‘at the start’, so to speak. For any Christian to be faced with the omnipotence and face-to-face presence of God after having lived a good and wholesome life would naturally leave them in complete awe. But to see an infant born in the poorest of circumstances, and whose parents had travelled from another place might not receive the same response.
And yet, although ‘The Nativity’ first took place in a stable in the town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago, never one day passes when the scene isn’t re-enacted somewhere else in the world as migrants travel from land to land with a child in their arms and hope in their hearts, only to find that there is no place at the inn for them. However little material wealth we may consider ourselves to have, we usually have more than we need to get by.
This Christmas time, please spare a prayer and a few pennies for all those poorer people of society, especially those who are visitors to a strange land who have had too many bad yesterdays in the land they have fled in search of a better tomorrow in Great Britain. This is a great country, and it is the most natural thing in the world for every parent inj the4 world to want the best future for their young. We may not speak the same mother tongue, but we all have the same eternal Father, and there is only one language God understands, the language of love. Love transcends all difficulties it faces because it is the language of peace, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, and understanding. Sheila and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love and peace Bill and Sheila xxx