Saturday, December 6, 2008

Go, tell it on the mountain!

Now that I have been listening to Christmas music for two weeks (already!) I have been reconnecting with my all-time favorite Christmas song.

Back in high school I was in a madrigal choir, and Christmas season was a busy time as we performed acappella Christmas concerts four or five times a week around town during the month of December.

I love the beauty of five part harmony; and singing Jesus songs with all my vocally gifted secular friends brought me a secret joy. Christmas is about the only time of year such a thing can happen.

One night after a concert, five of us had planned to ride home together. It happened that there was one of us for each part, so we decided to impromptu carol our neighborhood before splitting up. We parked at the end of the street, in the parking lot of a medical clinic, and started to walk.

As we passed out of the lot toward the neighborhood on that clear frosty night, we crested a hill and began to walk down. At once we were all struck by the view of the lights of homes and businesses we could see. And as one we knew what we had to do.

The five of us gathered in a circle, and began to sing to each other, solely for our own benefit and enjoyment:
Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!
You know how sound carries differently in cold night air? It just sounds more pure. I think even the angels were listening that night; I know I will never forget that magical moment, as long as I live. Because while we were indeed singing beautiful harmony, and enjoying the sound we made together, we were also praising God for his wonderful gift. These high school kids who never discussed faith or religion together, were singing words that honored God.

Each year when the season rolls around and radio stations again play that tune, I am reminded once again that God accepts every good deed as if it is done for him; and although many people have lost the meaning of Christmas, I think he must also accept some measure of praise when people of all religious persuasions sing the Jesus carols.

But let those of us who believe also not forget the charge: Go! Tell it on the mountains and everywhere, that Jesus Christ, Savior of the world, has been born!

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