The story of Christmas does not end with the angels’ song glorifying God. Here we see the shepherds’ response to the revelation given to them by that heavenly host. They “went in haste,” which echoes Mary’s swift response after her own angelic visit in the previous chapter. Having seen for themselves what had been revealed to them, the shepherds did not stay long at the manger, despite what our nativity scenes capture. The shepherds keep moving, making known the message about the child Jesus and glorifying God as they returned to their flocks. Although they still remained shepherds, they had been changed. They were now the first evangelists of the in-breaking of God into human history.Having seen for themselves what had been revealed to them, the shepherds did not stay long at the manger. They kept moving, making known the message about the child Jesus and glorifying God as they returned to their flocks. Click To Tweet
In this same passage, we see another kind of response to the message of salvation. Mary’s silent contemplation, we know, will not remain silent for long. Though she has few words recorded in the Gospels after the birth of her son, she too communicated the saving message not only by her words but also by her presence at the Cross and among the apostles.
This Christmas Gospel calls us to respond to God’s action in our lives. That response requires both quiet contemplation and bold proclamation.