Noel and Its Relationship to Christmas

Last Sunday I was standing in church singing “Noel, Noel.  Born is the King of Israel.”  You might be singing that same song during this Advent or Christmas season.  I’m sure you have heard it before.  But have you ever wondered why we sing “Noel” at Christmas or what it means?

Noel is a French word that means “Christmas.”  If you are wishing a French person a merry Christmas, you say “Joyeux Noel!”  Noel is a version of the Latin word “natal” which means birth.  A natal day is a birthday.  When you capitalize it, you get THE Birthday – the birthday of Jesus Christ.  So Noel means Christmas when it is capitalized.

Of course my busy brain couldn’t stop there.  In Hebrew, El is one of the words for God.  For instance, Bethel is “House of God.”  If you think about El standing for God, No El could represent Christmas for a lot of people.  So many people celebrate Christmas as a completely secular (not holy) day.  They keep the trappings of Christmas without any of the eternal meaning.  A Christmas without God, for me, would be like unwrapping an empty box.  Pretty on the outside, but overall useless.

Keeping God in Christmas takes constant reminding.  We celebrate Christmas first of all, to remember the gift of our Savior Christ.  God come down to earth in human form.  The King of Creation taking on flesh to show us how much he loves us.  The only gift that matters at Christmas is the one delivered in a manger.

Noel.  Noel!  Born is the King of Israel.

Q: Whats the difference between the Christmas alphabet and the ordinary alphabet? A: The Christmas alphabet has Noel.

Make sure you keep El in Christmas.