You’re Worth Loving
This year St. Peter’s UCC in Grant Park is providing the book A Love Worth Giving to You at Christmas by Max Lucado for our members to distribute to their families, friends, and neighbors as a small gift.
Each book includes an invitation to worship with our church family on Christmas Eve.
Throughout Advent we are reminding everyone that they are worth loving!
Lucado writes, “(Jesus) went from commanding angels to sleeping in straw. From holding stars to clutching Mary’s finger. The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier. Why? Because that’s what love does.”
Each day, during Advent, join us for a journey to see just how much God’s love for you is evidenced in the story of Christmas.
A Birthday Name
Honestly, for nearly half of my life I was thought that Noel was another name for the baby Jesus.
Just as Emmanuel means “God with us,” I perceived that Noel was a specific name assigned to Jesus as well.
In case you weren’t aware, Noel is simply a noun meaning “Christmas.”
When we sing “The First Noel” we are singing about the first Christmas on earth.
You may have heard of men with the same name.
This is common in many cultures for those who are born on Christmas Day as Noel is derived from an Old French word, “nael,” and Hebrew word “natalis.”
In later years it has adapted into Middle English as “Nowel.”
The origins of these words come from the Biblical story of the first child, Jesus, who was born on the first Christmas.
Therefore, it is observed that there are men named “Noel” and women named “Noelle,” because they were born on the 25th of December.
So while the name Noel isn’t found in Scripture, it still holds a very strong reminder of the Christmas story.
One author suggests that Noel is a birthday. It’s the birthday of a King. It’s the birthday of a Savior. It’s the birthday of our Jesus.
This year, as you celebrate Christmas, celebrate a birthday! His birthday.
As for bringing a gift? No need. He is the gift! He is the gift given for YOU because YOU are WORTH Loving.
Prayer: Holy One of Israel, as Your birthday arrives may we celebrate You. May we bring You the best of what we have, but more importantly, we pray, that we would receive You. Amen.