December 7, 2009

No Gift To Bring

"And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshipped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh." Matthew 2:11

One of the things that I enjoy most about the holiday season are the annual Christmas programs that I have been watching since I was a child. I am sure we all have our favorite one and, for some of us, it may be hard to choose. One I personally relate to is "The Little Drummer Boy."

For those of you who have not seen it I'll give a quick synopsis. A young boy’s family is killed and he is taken away, to be sold at a time deemed most profitable, by a nasty man. The man uses the boy’s ability to play the drum among other things for financial gain. He repeatedly mistreats the child who, by the way,  lost his smile the day his village was destroyed.

As they travel along, they meet three kings. These men are royalty and have in their possession precious gifts. They tell of "a star" and of their journey to see the "king of the Jews" who is to be born that very night. The man being a freeloader decides to tag along to see what he may gain on the trip. Crazy things happen along the way, but finally they come to a lowly stable where a little baby boy lies in his mother’s arms when not in a manger full of hay.

The three kings bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh--all of which were very costly. The little boy, whose heart was so broken by the horrors that had come upon his family, finds a tear slowly running down his cheek as the kings humbly worship the King. He finds his heart strangely warmed in the presence of baby Jesus. Watching as all the gifts are presented the frown returns to his face at the realization that he is empty-handed with nothing to give. Suddenly he has an idea "I’ll play my drum for Him." And so he does. The words that accompany his little song go something like this:

Come they told me
Pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn King to see
Pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the king
Pa rum pum pum pum
So to honor Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
When we come

Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you
Pa rum pum pum pum
On my drum

Mary nodded
Pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

Often I find myself in the position of this little drummer boy as it seems that I have no gift extravegant enough to bring to Jesus my King. I see gifts all around me which are beautiful and glorious. Impressive, they are meant for royalty, and there are plenty of them. Writers who are so articulate, singers as melodious as birds, speakers who draw thousands. Then I look at my hands. Hands that once played instruments, sang solos, preached, taught, and counseled others. As I look I see emptiness and I am left standing before the King with nothing to bring. That is, nothing but me.

Was it the drummer boy’s melody played on some worn-out handmade drum that was pleasing before Mary, the mother of Jesus? Was it so grand and entertaining that it pleasured this newborn King? Not really. What made this boy’s behavior something worthy of emulating was the fact that when he realized he had nothing to give the King--he offered himself. As he pounded out his little song, he gave it his best. He put his whole heart into it. That made little Jesus smile.

Jesus smiling—imagine that. Is it so hard to conceive? I guess it is if you serve a heavy-handed, cop-in-the-sky type of God. It is not quite as hard to conceive though when you believe in the God of the Holy Bible. He loves the unlovable and seeks out the needy. He offers a home in His heavenly kingdom forever after He so graciously forgives all of our sins. All that is required is for us to give ourselves to Him.

When I sit long enough in His Presence whether I am quiet, meditating on the Scriptures, or praising & worshiping Him, I believe that I—like the little drummer boy—bring the only gift I have worth bringing. Wholehearted devotion and adoration to Jesus Christ, my King. It might not seem like much to me or to others, but occasionally it is enough to make Jesus smile.

This song, by Casting Crowns, "Who Am I" helps to put my relationship with Christ into perspective. I pray it will do the same for you not only during the Christmas season but every day of the year.


bridgetwillard said...


Michelle Riggs said...

Thank you so much for praying for my daughter, Abby.

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