Preparing for Worship – Gina Biddle.
I have memories of reading today’s Gospel reading, John 1:1-14, as a child in Detroit. Someone gave me a small white Gideon Bible, and this verse inspired me repeatedly. My family did not attend church, but this verse was important to me.
“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” I was curious to know who this God and his son were. I now understand this to mean that the birth of Jesus would be much more than the birth of a human being. Every day I get to represent Jesus as I walk the halls of UT Southwestern Medical Center as a chaplain — getting to see, feel and know the God my patients relate to.
Today we sing “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.” Researchers say the song dates to the mid-19th century when gospels spread orally from plantation to plantation. The person responsible for making a Christmas classic out of “Go, Tell It on the Mountain” was a Nashville-born collector of spirituals named John Wesley Work, Jr. Work attended Fisk University, where he founded singing groups and was involved with the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The Jubilee Singers toured the United States to raise funds for the college and were important in the dissemination of spirituals and African American folk music to audiences in the 19th century. Although as a child I never attended church, I remember hearing the iconic voice of Mahalia Jackson singing “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.”
The joy of this season comes from our intimate personal relationship with the Christ Child, our Savior. May we spread the news, the “Word,” through Scripture, presence or song.