She sang it with all of her heart – four year old Christabelle – at Black Mountain Presbyterian Church’s Weekday School Christmas program…

Go, Tell It On the Mountain

That Jesus Christ Is Born!

With sheer joy she sang it and I am so thankful for the Black Mountain Presbyterian Church loving the Gospel and children enough to teach her. It is a great Christmas song and historians believe this song was most likely written in the early 1800’s by an unknown slave living in America. This song puts into words the enormous joy surrounding the good news of our Savior’s birth:

Go, Tell it on the Mountain

Over the hills and everywhere

That Jesus Christ is born.

How could someone living in slavery show such joy and exuberance? Think back to the time before Christ came. For centuries philosophers and religious sages had attempted to diagnose the afflictions of the world and present their cures. “Yet for the judgment of death there was no reprieve. Death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses.” (Romans 5:14)

 

That’s the bad news. However healthy or happy people were, the spiritual reality was that they lived under the judgment of God. But the joy of Christmas is found in the middle of the manger. For this was not just a child, but a Savior – a Redeemer – who would destroy the power of death once and for all. As the prophet Isaiah announced hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth:

On this mountain He will destroy the

Shroud that enfolds all peoples, the

sheet that covers all nations; He

will swallow up death forever.

The sovereign Lord will wipe away

The tears from all faces; He will remove

His people’s disgrace from all the earth.

The Lord has spoken   (Isaiah 25: 7-8)

This gift of God’s very self: Jesus Christ is the gift of abundant and eternal life. This Christmas, may we, like the unnamed slave who first sang “Go Tell It on The Mountain”, be heralds of the good news: Emmanuel: God is with us!

How beautiful on the mountain

are the feet of those who bring good news,

who proclaim peace,

who bring good tidings,

who proclaim salvation,

who say to Zion,

Your God Reigns ! (Isaiah 52:7)