My sixth grade son plays the snare drum in the Greencastle Middle School band. Last night was the middle school’s Christmas concert. The high school auditorium was packed with the family and friends of Greencastle’s middle school kids, as those young people played and sang songs about Christmas. The song selection included the usual Christmas suspects, such as Go Tell it on the Mountain. As the choir belted out that Christmas hymn, my wife looked over at me and expressed surprise that this public school would allow their kids to sing:
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 watching Over silent flocks by night, Behold throughout the heavens There shone a holy light. The shepherds feared and trembled, When lo! above the earth, Rang out the angels chorus That hailed the Savior’s birth. Down in a lowly manger The humble Christ was born And God sent us salvation. That blessed Christmas morn. (empasis added)
My wife was surprised that such blatant phrases of salvation in Christ would be sung from the auditorium stage of a public high school.
I wasn’t surprised. Why? Because Christmas carols are part of the tradition. It is simply going through the motions that make the holiday Christmas for so many people. It is interesting that Al Mohler blogged about this very thing today. You’re encouraged to read his blog post “Merry Christmas, Dear Athiest“.