Go Tell It on the Mountain

Photo by Thierry Gregorius
Photo by Thierry Gregorius
Maybe it was because the church I attended on Christmas Eve sang “Go Tell It on the Mountain” during the candle lighting (instead of “Silent Night” as I am accustomed to). Perhaps it was the preacher’s moving sermon, in which she reminded us that we have “glimpsed something we must share.” Maybe it’s just because I think about everything now through the lens of evangelism, but it occurs to me—in these final days of the Christmas season—that Christmas is our most evangelistic holiday.

Regardless of whether you think there is a “war on Christmas” in the United States—for the record, I do not think there is a war on Christmas or on Christians in our country—the fact remains that for a month or so millions of people greet each other with a joyous “Merry Christmas!” It may be so syncretized as to no longer resemble a purely religious season, but Christmas is by far the biggest holiday celebrated in the United States, and even the themes of our secularized Christmas reflect peace, love, generosity, and joy.

Yet for Christians, there is so much more to share: the radical love of God; the mystery of God-with-us; the challenge to the status quo of power and fear; the hope of transformation for individuals and for the world. This is good news that we need to hear.

People love to tell others about the birth of a baby.  It’s no wonder God enters the world this way.

Even though Christmas ends tonight, our work of sharing God’s love continues. So go tell it on the mountain—or wherever you may be.

John W. Vest is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Evangelism at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

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