Meditation on a Manger-Mustard Seed

For the People of Bethlehem on Christmas

Sow a manger-mustard seed,
Reap a megaton of feed.
Leaven in a shepherd field,
Makes a universal yield.
See the little Refugee
Play where once He split the sea.
With a square and plane to ply
Make us mansions in the sky.
Loaves and fishes in His hand,
Crumbs as countless as the sand.
Threats from Herod dim and dire,
“Tell that fox his tail’s on fire.”
Who’s this weak and bleating lamb?
“Before Abraham I am.”
Bleeding in Gethsemane
On the eye of victory.
Shrieks the nail between the bone,
Wrath, my wrath, my wrath on loan.
Limp like meat upon a rack,
Raw with slivers in His back.
Black and cavernous the grave
‘Til the Father comes to save.
Quiet thunder ripples out
Through the centuries of doubt.
Silence in the heavens now.
Soon the universe will bow.
Leaven in a shepherd field
Look! A universal yield.
Sow a manger-mustard seed
Reap a megaton indeed.
Light the fuse on Christmas night,
Soon a flash of dynamite.

John Piper

Full author john piper

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

© 2015 Desiring God Foundation. Distribution Guidelines

Share the Joy! You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in physical form, in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee. For posting online, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page. For videos, please embed from the original source. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.

Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. ©2015 Desiring God Foundation. Website: