written and compiled by Timothy Siburg, Messiah North County Mission Developer.
Go Tell it on the Mountain
Confession time. I grew up in the church choir loft. That probably explains a bit about me. Because of that, and because I grew up with a mom who served as a music minister, I also grew up without much of a choice about learning to sing and playing music on piano (and other instruments).
My first solo was on “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” sung on Christmas morning as the anthem on Christmas Day at my home church. You might have figured this out by now, I love jazz and spirituals because of the rhythm, the fun, the emotion, and the energy.
There’s another thing about this song in particular though that sits with me this year. As I am working as a mission developer, part of my role is to help people hear the story and see how they are part of God’s on-going story by sharing it. It’s evangelism, and it’s part of God’s mission and work in the world.
When we sing, “Go Tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born!” imagine that we are going to tell it to the world from the tops of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. Imagine that we are out in the neighborhoods of Ridgefield, Battleground, Woodland, Salmon Creek, and Hazel Dell. Imagine that even on your social media like Facebook, that there too, we are called to “Go Tell it.” That gives a bit more meaning to the words of this great Christmas carol, doesn’t it?
As we sing the great carols moving from Advent to Christmas Eve, Christmas day and through the rest of the 12 days of Christmas, take some time to think about these words we have sung and may know so well. They are rich stories, but also which have messages for us today just as they did when they were written.
Please join me in going and telling it that Jesus Christ is born for you online, in your neighborhoods, and from your mountaintops, whatever they might be.
The Rest of the Story
Over the years, my brother and sister and I would end up putting together all sorts of ensembles, and for at least eight years in a row we did an arrangement of “O Holy Night” on Christmas Eve (including one year with Allison on cello as part of our group). We sang “O Holy Night” for so many years in a row, largely because we were asked by so many people to do it again. Just so we wouldn’t get bored, we started sharing two different songs on Christmas Eve, a new and different one each year, and O Holy Night during offering before the candlelight portion of the service.
Having heard some of your stories around North County, it has given me great joy to know that many of you have similar stories of sharing music over past years in worship. It’s been a lot of fun to help lead the singing at North County with all of you as I have filled in the past couple of months with the worship team. As we wait for whoever the next worship leader is, we continue to lift praises to God, make music together, and worship God. Because after all it’s not about us at all. It’s about our loving God who became incarnate and is with us, Emmanuel.
Continued blessings this Advent season, and thank you for being a part of Messiah North County - Timothy
To see what other things Timothy is reading and writing about, click here or the photo above to link to his personal website on "Thoughts on Leadership, Church, and The Neighbor" where he posts nearly every day.