There are words that we use around Christmas that we don’t think that much about. Sometimes we even use them (or sing them) without really noticing because they are so familiar. Here, in no particular order, are seven “Christmas Words” and a little about their origins, to liven up your yuletide conversations!
Noel: The French word for Christmas, derived from the Latin “natalis” meaning “birth” (of the Messiah)
Myrrh: A strange gift for a baby, because it was used in embalming, symbolizing the ultimate gift that Jesus would give…his life.
Messiah: From the Hebrew “mashiach” meaning “anointed one” (who will be king over Israel.) It is the equivalent of the Greek word Christos.
Advent: From the Latin word “adventus”, which means “coming” (not merely birth) of Messiah, for which the Jews had waited hundreds of years.
Epiphany: A Christian tradition (observed Jan. 6th) commemorating the day the Magi met the Christ child.
Joy: Often considered the one word to encapsulate Christmas, the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecy was the most joyful and significant event to occur in all of human history. (Luke 2:8-10)
Immanuel: Hebrew word which means literally “God with us” mentioned in Matthew chapter 1, pointing out that Christ fulfilled the prophecy of Messiah, from the book of Isaiah.