“Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!”

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At the Chapel of the Transfiguration at Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC

“Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.” (John Wesley Work, Jr.)

As I gathered together with about dozen young people at the manger on Christmas Eve, one rambunctious little fellow said in a very loud voice, “I want baby Jesus!” This little guy grabbing baby Jesus out of the crèche was not part of my well thought out homily. If your going to work with kids, you just have to expect the unexpected!

So I began to negotiate, “Okay friend, here’s the deal. You can take baby Jesus, but only if you are willing to share him with others.” Speaking of not being a part of the plan, you could just see the wheels spinning in his head… ‘I really want baby Jesus, but I was wanting him all for myself, but if that is the only way I’m going to be able to get baby Jesus…’ “Okay,” he responded, as he nodded his head and passed baby Jesus to the child next to him.

If we are going to be completely honest, this little lad is not alone in his wanting baby Jesus all for himself. But that, of course, is neither the message of Christmas nor the foundational understanding of those who have chosen to follow Jesus.

In Call on Me: A Prayer Book for Young People by Sharon Ely Pearson and Jenifer C. Gamber, the following prayer for Christmas is offered:

“Christ is born!
Praises to our Creator God, who became flesh for us most fully in Jesus,
the Incarnate Word
To become one of us, human, yet divine.

Christ is born!
My heart sings that the time of waiting is over.
The light has overcome the darkness
as the true gift from God has arrived.

Christ is born!
Praises to our Creator God, who is as close as the love that binds us, one to another,
Filling us with awe and wonder at such miracles.

Christ is born!
Help us to live the joy of Jesus’ birth this and every day,
knowing that the Spirit of Christ dwells in us
guiding us to be his witnesses in all that we say and do throughout the year.

Christ is born!”

I really appreciate this prayer, as it makes it clear that the baby Jesus we celebrate during Christmas is a living Jesus that we are invited to share throughout the year.

“Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere;
Go, tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!” (John Wesley Work, Jr.)

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