By Pastor Bert Hitchcock
As familiar carols recount the events of Christmas, they often tell us how we should respond:
“O Little Town of Bethlehem”
calls us to invite Christ to come and abide in us.
“O Come All Ye Faithful”
tells us to come and adore the newborn King.
“What Child Is This” says
haste to bring him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary.
And “Angels We Have Heard On High” calls us to sing
(in Latin), “Gloria in excelsis Deo!”
Well, “Go Tell It On the Mountain” also tells the Christmas story: Shepherds in the field, the appearance of the angelic chorus, and the humble birth of Christ in a lowly stable. But in this carol, the response is always the same: “Go tell it!”.
The glory of the Lord shown around the shepherds . . . “Go tell it!”
The angel announced good news . . . “Go tell it!”
And once they saw the Baby Jesus . . . “Go tell it!”
There are so many ways we might respond to such news: we could ponder it, get excited about it, question it, try to comprehend it, ignore it, or put off any consideration until a more convenient time. But here, we are called to do one thing: “Go tell it!” This is not just the song-writer’s suggestion; this is God’s command passed on from Isaiah 40:
“You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
He tends his flock like a shepherd;
He gathers the lambs in his arms.”
Go tell it on the Mountain!