So quickly do we pass over the Christmas words, “Herod . . . slew all the male children . . . two years old and under.” But the poet lingers, weeping, raging, looking at the dark spot, in hope that any prick of light might become a portal for the sun. And what he sees he strains with words to show—pressing us against the perforation in the wall of pain.
Why this struggle? Why does the poet bind his heart with such a severe discipline of form? Why strain to give shape to suffering? Because Reality has contours. God is who He is, not what we wish or try to make Him be. His Son, Jesus Christ, is the great granite Fact. His hard sacrifice makes it evident that our spontaneity needs Calvary-like discipline. Perhaps the innkeeper paid dearly for housing the Son of God. Should it not be costly to penetrate and portray this pain?
The Innkeeper seeks to reveal the Light that shines behind this brutal moment in history and our own path of suffering.
Come and see!
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John Stephen Piper (born January 11, 1946) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a Calvinist Baptist preacher and author who served as Pastor for Preaching and Vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 33 years. His books include ECPA Christian Book Award winners Spectacular Sins, What Jesus Demands from the World, Pierced by the Word, and God's Passion for His Glory, and bestsellers Don't Waste Your Life and The Passion of Jesus Christ. The evangelical organization Desiring God is named for his book Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist (1986).