IN THE VAST, INTERMINABLE DARK,
there shines a distant pinprick, like a star,
suspended in the firmament above.
Can so dim a glow yet be the mark
that One transcending words like ‘near’ and ‘far’
makes Himself near in this self-gift of love?
A little candle-flame, no more than that,
distinguishes the throne of God on Earth,
whom angel-hosts adore and devils fear!
The very mountains leapt and hills fell flat,
hearing word of their Creator’s Birth!—
and now, O God, your Bethlehem is here?
It dares our unbelief, affronts our pride,
contradicts our haughty heart’s assumption,
that the greatest should become the least,
the King come down to take a peasant bride,
that love be consummated in consumption—
Infinity contained in crumbs of wheat!
Yet so it is, and more, for God made man
was not content to remain on His throne,
nor now in golden vault secure to lie.
The shepherd’s lamp is lit to seek the lamb—
defenseless, but too willful not to roam—
from that bright night when Love bled and died.