I remember being in elementary school music class as we
prepared for the annual Christmas concert. Since music has never been one of my
strong suits, I wasn’t too fond of music class. Our teacher was strict and
expected no talking which was like asking for my right kidney back then! He
introduced this song for our class to perform called, “Go Tell
it on the Mountain.” As we started singing, I recall how odd this song
was to me. Since I had not yet developed the concept of abstract thought or the obvious
use of metaphors, I couldn’t understand a few things. Why in the world
would God want us to climb a mountain to tell everyone that Jesus was born? To
me, that seemed like a lot of trouble when we had phones, televisions, and
newspapers. Then we had to sing “over the hills and everywhere”? Was I supposed
to be Julie Andrews twirling about and singing like she did in the “The Sound
of Music”? As usual, I drifted off in my own little world of imagination...I liked it there!
Even then, I had this need to figure everything out; needing
to know the reason for things. No one else seemed bothered by the words to this
classic Christmas carol…they were singing away! I’d like to think my
inquisitive nature was due to my undiscovered brilliance at such a young age, but
I think I was just an odd kid! I mean, didn’t everyone already know that Jesus
was born? Did God need me on a mountaintop yelling to people? It was Christmas,
for goodness sake, so it looked to me like everyone had heard by now. I’m sure
my mind floated from that whole scenario to the Barbie dolls that I wanted or the
Chrissy doll that had long hair sprouting from her head. (Only kids from the
sixties and seventies will get this and that she had a sister named, Velvet!)
Of course, I get the words and the meaning to this song now.
The glorious birth of our Savior should be told and it should be celebrated.
Because of His birth, we have the promise of heaven but we also have that
promise because of His death and more importantly, His resurrection. The cross bought us our redemption but the resurrection bought us our eternity.
The Cross has given us our undeniable life with Jesus and we get it freely on a
daily basis. I have found that it is in the joyous mountaintops of victory where we acknowledge Him
but it is in the valley of pain and heartache where we find Him. We find
Him there and we identify with His sufferings there. This is confirmed in
Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of
God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order
that we may also share in His glory.”
It may not sound like it, but that is good news! Every
valley points right to heaven; to our promise, our hope, and our eternity in
glory with our Savior and King! Not every day is a valley but don’t we all have
our moments? On the other hand, doesn’t He also, in His tender mercy, “give us
beauty for ashes”?
It’s His birth that makes me want to shout from the
mountains, yet it’s His sufferings that make me want to shout from the valley too!
He suffered and died but He rose again! He didn’t stop at birth or life, He
completed it all with His death and resurrection…therein lies the promise!
Every promise became true and real and attainable with one
phrase-“He is risen, just as He said”...and that
is something worth telling.