Shout the Good News!

Get you up to a high mountain,
    O Zion, herald of good tidings;
lift up your voice with strength,
    O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
    lift it up, do not fear;
say to the cities of Judah,
    “Here is your God!”


Thomas Cole, A View of the Mountain Pass Called the Notch of the White Mountains (Crawford Notch), 1839, oil on canvas, Andrew W. Mellon Fund.

Isaiah 40:9 describes going up on a mountain and shouting, “Here is your God!” This scripture instantly brings back memories of Shrine Mont, the Shouting Prayer, and Darry DuPree. The first time I went to Shrine Mont was in 2010, when I was in seventh grade. Darry was our connection to Shrine Mont, as he grew up going there. One of my favorite parts of the trip was hiking up the mountain and reciting the Shouting Prayer.
Unfortunately, Darry was unable to join us on the hike, so when we got to the top, we decided to shout the prayer as loud as we could so Darry could hear us. Shouting my praise for God and how much God loved the world was one of the most exhilarating moments of my life. For the past couple of years now, at the Youth Sunday service, I have led the shouting prayer. It has been a joy sharing my favorite prayer – and Darry’s service – with the congregation.

During the Christmas season, the birth of Christ is one of the last things that many people think of. His birth is overshadowed by presents and cookies and parties, and no one talks about shepherds and angels and the Three Kings. It’s almost as if no one knows or cares why they are celebrating Christmas. As Christians, we should never be afraid to “shout” the good news that is Christmas. Just as we shout the Shouting Prayer, this Advent season I encourage you to “shout” the good news of Jesus’ birth.


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