“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:20)
Luke doesn’t tell us how long the shepherds stayed at the stable. Were they there for a few minutes, or did they spend a much longer time at this holy moment? Luke does tell us that the shepherds returned to their work as shepherds. Someone still had to watch over the sheep. They still had to make a living and help support their families. As great as the stable moment was, the shepherds returned to everyday life. Yet, as Luke writes, they “returned glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.” They returned to their lives, just not the way they first left them to visit the Bethlehem manger.
As we seek to discover God’s will, we must still live our lives. While there are times to pull away from the world in contemplative prayer and thought, at some point we must re-engage with the world in which we live. We seek discernment about our lives, and thus, we must take what we discover and apply it to our daily living. While it is tempting to stay on the mountain peak with God, we eventually must go back to the valleys and live out God’s will.
The world around us is still looking to find its way. As Jesus’ followers, we are called to bear witness to the way, the truth, and the life that is Jesus. The Light of the World has now made us lights in the world to reflect the glory of the only begotten Son of God. We who follow the Light, must now bear witness to the Light. We must go or return to wherever God has placed us and live as the shepherds did, “glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard.”
Prayer: O Lord of Light, help me to live as your light in the world so others might experience you in a way that brings light into their darkness.