and the angel left

We are those people the angel spoke of:  the people who long for good news, who need good news to come to all people. If we’ve learned anything this last year, it’s how helplessly related we are to all people — how other lives have consequence in our own. Always have, always will.

If only the angels would come again to light our way. If only some heavenly illumination would renew our way of looking at each other — at all people — every hour of every day. But the angels never stay, do they? They always vanish into heaven and leave us in the dark. 

It’s what happened to Mary: the angel came and left her. And it’s what happened to the shepherds, too: the angel left them as well. They must have been amazed, though, by the angel’s sudden appearance: must have shuttered their eyes from the blazing glory of it all, only to open them and find the vision gone. 

What happened next, though, means to take you by surprise. You see, the shepherds didn’t wait on the angel’s return. Instead, they ran off toward Bethlehem on foot in search of that thing the angel spoke of.

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