Day 6: Go Tell It On The Mountain

by Dec 6, 2020Christmas 2020, Devotional, Songs of Christmas

While shepherds kept their watching
over silent flocks by night,
behold throughout the heavens,
there shone a holy light.

Go, tell it on the mountain,
over the hills and everywhere.
Go, tell it on the mountain
that Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled
when lo! above the earth
rang out the angel chorus
that hailed our Savior’s birth.

“Go Tell It On the Mountain” is the kind of song that you hear even a few lines of and it remains stuck in your head all day. It’s infectious. It’s jubilant. It’s one of my favorite songs to sing aloud because it demands to be sung loudly. It is a song of news so great that it must be told everywhere.

I’ve read about the history of this song. The earliest versions of this African-American spiritual were published under the title “Christmas Plantation Song”, and like the shepherds tasked with spreading the news of Christ’s birth, the slaves who sang it did so joyously despite being poor, broken, and cast out by society.

But this year, I find myself less focused on the who and the how of this song. What stands out to me this year is the where.

On the mountain.

For many, this hasn’t been a year of infectious joy. It hasn’t been a year of news so great it must be told everywhere. But it has been a year of watching from the mountain, much like the shepherds did as they “kept their watching o’er silent flocks”. And from this vantage point, where the road has risen, we have been able to see things that we could not have seen from any other place.

For some, we saw what would happen when we took time to slow down and recognize what was truly important. We noticed for the first time simple pleasures we had taken for granted. Many of us had our eyes opened to inequality and racial injustices in our country. Again, like the shepherds, many of us “feared and trembled” as we watched this year unfold. But the truth is that seeing what we haven’t previously seen is the first step towards change. Much like God changed us when He sent news of our salvation that Christmas morning.

If you find yourself unable to sing the good news everywhere this year, stay on the mountain. Be the watchman. Keep seeing the things you can’t see from anywhere else. You’ll be the first one to know the good news when it comes.

 

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