This year, we’re bringing back our Season in Song series just in time for Christmas. Our missionaries picked three of their favorite Christmas hymns to share with you. To launch our series, we have the hymn “Go Tell it on the Mountain.” This hymn was chosen by GEO missionary Sarah Berta-Somogyi, who is serving in Hungary. The hymn is performed by Communications and Projects Manager Rick Steenbock (based in Frankfurt, Germany), who also created the video. Here is what Sarah and Rick say about this beloved hymn:
I love lots of Christmas hymns, but in recent years this has become my favorite because it doesn’t just tell the story of Jesus’ birth, it gives us a directive as to what to do with this story: tell it! As we are going in this world, we tell the story of Jesus. I also love the focus on the shepherds, as they’ve long been my favorite Christmas story characters. They were just minding their business in their fields and then, bam! their lives were changed with this good news of Jesus’ birth. And what did they do? They went. They saw. And then…they shared. They told what they’d seen. And the news spread! They remind me so much of us. At Christmas we come face-to-face with the Word made flesh, with Jesus, the Savior of the World. And our lives are changed, so our response should be to go and tell it – be it on a mountain, over hills, in another country, to our next-door neighbor, in our families, everywhere! –Sarah
Rick thought about these verses from Luke about the shepherds:
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord…And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child (Luke 2:10-11, 17 ESV).
Combined with the verses from Luke, Rick had similar thoughts about this hymn, which so encompasses the life of the missionary who is sent to “go and tell.”
Most of us recognize verses 10 and 11 from Luke as part of the Christmas narrative. But I know that I tend to breeze past verse 17 to get to the next major event. Think about it though: the shepherds didn’t keep what had happened to themselves. They were witnesses to an historic event! They rushed off to “spread the word” about what they had seen and heard! Too often we pass on the opportunities we have to be a witness to the world. May God give us all the courage to “Go Tell it on a Mountain” and everywhere what we have seen and heard! — Rick
- Tell us about your favorite Christmas hymns in the comments!
- There will be two more videos with favorite hymns from our missionaries: “What Child Is This?” and “We Praise You, Jesus, at Your Birth.” Keep an eye out for them as we approach Christmas.
- Looking for some Advent music? Last year we focused our Season in Song on Advent hymns. Here’s “Savior of the Nations Come.”