Christmas Carols have really been speaking to me this year. Songs that I have heard for so many years are taking on a new meaning, and Little Drummer Boy is no exception. In this carol is the simple reflection of the Colossians 3:23. Whatever gifts we have, let us use them to honor God.
Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.Col. 3:23 Amp
Come, They Told Me…
I’ve always assumed that the little drummer boy was, in fact, a shepherd boy. That he was out in the pasture, watching over his father’s sheep when a group of people urged him to come see the newborn king. Perhaps they were a group of fellow shepherds. Perhaps he saw the caravan of Wisemen traveling to find the king.
Whomever the group was, the little boy followed. He, too, heard and answered the invitation to come before the King.
Our Finest Gifts We Bring…
As the little boy stood in the crowd he followed, gifts were being given to this newborn King. Expensive gifts. Frankincense, Myrrh, Gold. All of them were laid before this Child. Then it was this little boy’s turn to honor the new King.
But what did the boy have to give Him? Nothing.
The little drummer boy was poor. Not only that, but he was probably dirty and a bit smelly after being surrounded by the flock. He had nothing near as fine as what was being given to this King.
As he debates this predicament, he notices that though everyone else called this Child a King, He was poor, too. He had no earthly value as a baby, perhaps even seen by some as just another mouth to feed. I think that’s something the little boy identified with. He saw a piece of himself in this little Baby.
He gets up the courage and offers the only thing he can give: an offer to play a song. It will not aid this Baby in any way as the other gifts have, but it is all this little boy has.
I Played My Best for Him…
This little drummer boy brings his gift, as odd and insignificant as it seemed, and uses it to honor the new baby King. Once again, nature joins in this simple act of honoring its King as the ox and lamb kept time. This little boy did the best he could, we don’t know if it was good or bad, but he still did it.
And what happened? The Baby smiled at him.
This simple act, surrounded by wealthier and finer gifts, delighted the Baby so much that He smiled. How do you think that affected the little drummer boy? He was probably relieved and happy. He’d brought the only thing he had and it was well received.
Let’s Present Our Gifts.
We often pair this song with grand drum sets that more than tap out a simple beat. The truth is that any drum this little boy presented would’ve been used and worn, of low quality compared to what would normally be used to serenade a king. Yet it was this drum, this simple gift that caused the Baby, Jesus, to smile in delight.
This imagery is closer to the truth of what the simple carol represents. The simplicity of bringing what we have, talented or not, and laying it before the King.
Our gifts don’t have to be flashy. They don’t have to even add anything of earthly value. The only requirement for our gifts is that they be dedicated to God, used as a means to honor and worship Him, and that the act of presenting them comes from an earnest desire to please Him in our hearts.
Amid all the fancy and flashy, let’s remember that it’s our hearts that count the most. God takes more delight in a gift that comes from our heart than one that is done for show.
Jesus is no longer a newborn King. He is no longer poor. He is the King of kings, and His return will not be the humble, near silent arrival that signified His first coming. Still the invitation stands:
Come, they told me, our finest gifts we bring to honor Him.
How can you use your gift to honor God today?
It doesn’t have to be flashy or for the world to see, only for God.
Leave a Reply