Without great effort, I can’t just say those words out loud. It’s an easy enough sentence, and other than the final one, only 2 to 4 letters per word. But it is a command - to action, but also to song! Be honest, can you even think those works without the familiar lilt resonating in your mind?
The song is not particularly profound, except in its simplicity. And it’s not very long, either. There is a reason for that. This is a song that was passed down through singing, a spiritual sung by slaves as they worked. It has a rhythm you can work to, especially if you are doing a repetitive task like tending a field or chopping wood or beating laundry on rocks.
It is the story of God breaking in to our lives:
“Behold throughout the heavens,
There shone a holy light…”
Of salvation being born a laid in the manger:
“And God sent us salvation,
That blessed Christmas morn…”
And our response to humbly seek:
“I seek the Lord to help me,
And He shows me the way…
And if I am a Christian,
I am the least of all…”
And more to the point, celebration:
“Go Tell it on the Mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!”