A Christmas Greeting and Poem

Noël and Talitha and I recorded a Christmas greeting for you and a “glimpse” into our home and traditions.

And since I didn’t write the advent poems this year, I wrote this Christmas poem to read at our Christmas Eve services last night, in the hopes of sharing my love for Jesus and my joy in him.

In this smelly place he lay,
Smelly like the swine,
Smelly like the rotting hay,
Like your sin, and mine.
Do you see how low he lay?
Do you see how low?
There is lower yet to go.
Lower yet to go.

He is lying where they eat,
Lying where the swine—
Lying like a piece of meat
Where the hungry dine.
Do you see the flow complete
Do you see the flow?
There is greater love to show
Greater love to show.

Such a happy toddler there,
Happy like the birds,
Happy like the morning air
Filled with happy words.
Does he see or know or care?
Does he see or know:
O, how deep will be his woe
Deep will be his woe?

Knowing God was born like this
Knowing this is he,
Knowing somehow this is bliss
For the swine and me,
Is this love's full glow and kiss?
Is this love’s full glow?
There are deeper things to know,
Deeper things to know.

Mary musing every year,
Musing on her son,
Musing with a rising fear
Who will be the one:
Who will strike the blow and spear?
Who will strike the blow?
Does she know that blood must flow?
Know that blood must flow?

Jesus hanging on the tree,
Hanging like the meat,
Hanging there for swine like me,
Gives his flesh to eat.
Here is Life brought low and free.
Here is Life brought low.
O, how vast the debt I owe
Vast the debt I owe.

I hope you feel the same undeserved debt to the grace of God this year because of Christ. What an amazing Savior we have!

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org 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.