Sheep of the Judean hills give meat,
skins and wool for raiment, tents,
cover from storm, shelter from heat.
In fields of Bethlehem where David slew
lion, bear and fed his father’s sheep,
temple flocks now safely graze.
Those who watch have been well taught
that in the shadow of a distant Eden
firstlings offered hope. They know how
God spared birthright son of Abraham,
providing sacrificial ram
for grass-kindled flame, stone-tabled meal.
Remembering that death passed over Israel’s
house because of unblemished blood,
these know the altar-end of tender ones
they nurture, name, and carry in their bosoms.
For solemn feasts they gently lead the young
into Jerusalem so sin-stained robes
may be washed white as the glory of the Lord,
and peace may be complete.
Tonight with faith they haste to find
a Savior and a certain sign—
Christ the future sacrifice—
swaddled, as the angel said,
in wool-soft bands and lying in a manger.
These are they prepared
to spread the word abroad—
This day is born the Lamb of God.