Tuesday, December 13, 2011


On behalf of Mike Nelson and the Hornheads (a man and a group I know almost nothing about—but you gotta admit that that name says a lot), I’d like to recommend their Jingle Bell JAZZ Holiday CD, which includes 20 holiday favorites arranged in classic jazz style.

I recommend it because my daughter Emma and I have been playing it and singing to it each morning on our way to her school since the first Monday after Thanksgiving.

Yesterday we turned up the volume in my car almost as loud as it would go and, we shout-sang together, “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.”

Go tell it on the mountain, Over the hills and ev’rywhere

Go tell it on the mountain, That Jesus Christ is born!

By the time it was over, we were laughing and high-fiving (at the stop light), and Emma was exclaiming, “Let’s sing it again, Dad!”

Later it struck me, that to “go tell it on the mountain” would require a decent amount of work. I mean if I wanted to go tell it on Stone Mountain I’d have to drive a good forty-five minutes and then climb the 1686 feet to the summit. If I wanted to go tell it on Brasstown Bald Mountain (the highest point in GA) I’d have to drive to the NC-GA state line and climb 4,784 feet. If I wanted to go tell it on Mount Everest…..well, you get the idea.

But then I recognized that there are many kinds of “mountains” or “platforms” in which we can “go tell it.” And there are many kinds of ways we can “tell it,” too.

The “platforms” we have to tell it from include places liked our children’s bedside at bedtime, the front door of our neighbor’s house, the classroom at a nearby school, the parking lot of a church, and a community center in need of volunteers. We can “go tell it” in phone conversations, emails, written letters, text-messages, and over a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop.

And the ways we can “go tell it” are even greater. Some of the best ways don’t even involve our mouths (although “a word aptly chosen”—and ‘aptly’ is the key—“is like apples of gold in setting of silver. Pr. 25:11). We can use our hands, our feet, our ears, our money, our time, and our talents. We can tell it with a handshake, a “thank-you,” a hug, a small gift, and a listening ear. We can shout it through acts of kindness, and working hard, and doing things with excellence, and demonstrating unconditional love.

The list, of course, is endless. But the question is a singular one: Will you “Go Tell it on the Mountain” this moment, this day, this season?

“You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “HERE IS YOUR GOD!” -Isaiah 40:9