The First Noel
And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from the country far;
To seek for a King was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.
Noel is French for Christmas, so the title means: The First Christmas. And since the lyrics focus on the birth of the Christ Child, that would make (obvious) sense.
This verse it speaks of three Wise Men; and I suppose I could talk about the fact that although tradition gives us their names, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, not only do we not know their names (for the Bible doesn’t mention them), we don’t even know if there even were three Magi. We assume three because of the number of gifts mentioned.
And I suppose I could talk about the meaning of the gifts, but that does not have much to do with this hymn either. However, I do believe the author of these lyrics did accurately represent the commitment of these Magi: To seek a for a King was their intent, and to follow the star wherever it went.
Is there something in your life you have pursued, wherever it went? Did you pursue a person? A goal? Stuff? Wealth? Position? Power? Here were three Magi who were very familiar with wealth, position and power. But who did they pursue? A Jewish King. Why? Because if they knew about the birth of this Jewish King, then they knew about the Jewish God. And I believe they understood that this was The One True God.
To choose to follow the King was and is counter-cultural, and is oftentimes perceived as a foolish errand. But the Magi didn’t care. They chose to follow the star wherever it went, until they found… Him. Do you know what to follow? Are you willing to look for Him with that same kind of commitment?