The Shepherds’ Prayer

by Paul Hooker

Note: This poem is set as a hymn to the author’s tune, “Wrigley.”. 

O God of the shepherds in night-fallen pastures,
God of the angels suspended in flight,
God of the moon-dark, the maiden’s frail gesture,
O God of the man-child who cries in the night:
Illumine the night with the angels’ cold glory;
linger with us when the host turns away
and flees into heaven, and whisper the story
we ponder with wonder as night turns to day.
Your glory is fierce, and it tests our conviction
to follow the path to the manger and inn,
a glory that ends in a dark crucifixion
for any who muster the heart to begin.
So bind up our courage and lead us through darkness
from sheepfold and stable to table and tomb,
from manger and mother to glory incarnate,
Light of the world in the dark of the womb.