Turning onto the highway, I saw the large red and yellow letters which covered the entire sides of the semi-truck. You couldn’t miss it – “JESUS”. The back of the truck posted a website for more information about Jesus and God’s love. Not able to grab my phone to take a picture or write down the website, I did smile a big smile, thinking – “Thanks, brother, for announcing to other drivers your love for God’s son, Jesus, and a desire to share him with others as you go about your work traveling on highways. You aren’t afraid of what others will think or say. You just want to proclaim the news of Jesus literally wherever you go”.
The story of Christmas is a story of signs, announcements, proclaiming, and telling. The angel Gabriel was sent from God to tell Mary she would give birth to a son – “you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” (Luke 1:31-32)
At the birth of Jesus, an angel appeared to shepherds in a field at night, telling them, “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.” Then a multitude of heavenly angels began to proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” (Luke 2:10-11, 14)
The shepherds then went to look for Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. Upon finding baby Jesus, they “…told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished.” (Luke 2:17-18)
Mary and Joseph took baby Jesus to the Temple to be dedicated as Jewish law required. While there, Simeon, a prophet saw baby Jesus and began praising God proclaiming:
“’I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations’… Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said.” (Luke 2:30-33)
At that same time, Anna, a widow and prophetess also began to praise God and “talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)
This Christmas song reminds us that this season especially is the time for all who know and have “seen” Jesus’ work of love and forgiveness in their lives to proclaim, to tell, to announce:
Go, tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born
Are you telling? Are you proclaiming the message of Jesus- God’s salvation “prepared for all people”- to others? Painted on a truck, shared with a neighbor, told to a co-worker, written in a Christmas card, introduced to a foreigner in your city, and talked about in your home with children, parents, aunts and uncles?
Or maybe like the shepherds, you have been told the message of Jesus every Christmas but instead of seeking him you are skeptical of the announcement, not leaving your “field” to find him. This year, go, seek and find Jesus. For he said, “seek, and you will find.” (Matthew 7:7) and “whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37) “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Join with the angels, shepherds, Mary and Joseph, Simeon and Anna praising God for Jesus, who came “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.” (Luke 1:79), and make telling and proclaiming your celebration of Christmas.