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THE FIRST NOEL December 22, 2012 12:04 PM

Dearly Beloved, THE FIRST NOEL "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger'" (Luke 2:8-12 NIV). Historically, December 25 was the climax day for the celebration of Saturnalia, an ancient Roman festival in honour of the deity Saturn. However, the day has been adopted worldwide as the birth date of Jesus Christ, thereby dumping the worship of Saturn to the celebration of God the Son who "was made visible in human flesh" to "save His people from their sins" (1 Timothy 3:16; Matthew 1:21 AMP). Matthew Chapters One and Two and Luke Chapters One and Two chronicled the birth of Jesus Christ regarded as the first Christmas. An unknown poet composed a popular Christmas hymn titled "THE FIRST NOEL THE ANGEL DID SAY" to portray the event. This hymn is a traditional classical English carol, most likely from the 18th century, although possibly earlier. The word Noel comes from the French word Noël meaning "Christmas", from the Latin word "natalis" that means "birthday". On the first Noel, after the birth of Jesus Christ, an angel went to certain poor shepherds as they lay in fields keeping their sheep on a cold winter's night that was so deep, and informed them that the King of Israel was born. The shepherds looked up and saw a star shining in the east beyond them far. The star gave great light to the earth as it continued to shine both day and night. By the light of that same star some wise men came from a far country. Their intent was to seek for the King, and to follow the star wherever it went. This star drew near to the northwest and took its rest over Bethlehem, right over the place where Jesus was laid. The wise men entered in full reverence upon their knees, and offered there in His presence their gifts made of gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. The unknown poet then concluded his hymn with this great lesson: "let us all with one accord sing praises to our heavenly Lord; that hath made heaven and earth of nought, and with his blood mankind hath bought." As we are celebrating Christmas this year, let us worship the King, Jesus Christ, with our lives and everything that we have for what He has done for us through His coming to the world. Once again, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (2013) in advance! In His service, Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).

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