And like the angels they have hope of glory,
however dimly glory’s understood:
the hope the child will live for Israel’s good,
and living bring completion to the story,
(that’s only half-believed, so old and hoary),
begun when God and Abraham both stood
outside his leathern house by Mamre’s wood
and gazed at countless stars in heaven’s storey.
Since then the promise found itself compressed
by heavy circumstance, until at last
it seemed that only Israel could be blessed.
But with the Bethlehem birth it’s all recast:
Salvation spreads like ripples on a lake,
So now the new messiah’s ours to take.