Saturday, December 11, 2021

Daily Devotion: Go Tell It On The Mountain

Bible Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11 

Key Verse: Verse 9– “O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!”

Key Words: get thee up unto the high mountain

Six months after the end of the Civil War, an institution of learning was founded in a former Union army barracks in Nashville, Tennessee.  Classes were convened on January 9, 1866, for students ranging in age from seven to seventy.  Their background was slavery and poverty.  They were thirsty for education.

The founders wanted their school to be open to all, regardless of race.  It would measure itself by “the highest standards, not of Negro education, but of American education at its best.”  They incorporated Fisk University on August 22, 1867.

The world-famous Jubilee Singers originated as a group of Fisk University students who began traveling in 1871, praying that through their music they could raise enough money to keep the doors of their debt-ridden school open.  Before long, their performances were electrifying audiences throughout the United States and Europe.  The Jubilee Singers introduced much of the world to the spiritual as a musical genre – and in the process raised the funds that preserved their school.

At Fisk, John Wesley Work, Jr. (1871- 1925), and alumnus and faculty member, was a leader in the movement to preserve, study, and perform Negro spirituals.  He trained and performed with the professional and student groups of the Jubilee Singers, and collected, harmonized, and published a number of collections of slave songs and spirituals.  In 1907, Work wrote the lyrics to “Go Tell It on the Mountain” and set them to the tune of the old spiritual “When I Was a Seeker.”  It is a rare and wonderful Christmas song that has sprung from the rich tradition of African-American music.

                        ~ The Carols We Love by Daniel Partner 


Go, tell it on the mountain,

Over the hills and everywhere

Go, tell it on the mountain,

That Jesus Christ is born.


While shepherds kept their watch

Over silent flocks by night

Behold throughout the heavens

There shone a holy light.


By John W. Work, Jr.

What to do:
✞ Go into all the world and tell others what Jesus    has done for you.

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