December 7, 2010
No Gift to Bring
One of the things that I enjoy most about the holiday season are the annual Christmas programs which I began watching as 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 valuable items. 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. 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 present "baby king Jesus" 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. His heart is strangely warmed in the presence of baby Jesus.
The boy watches closely as all the gifts are presented. A frown returns to his softening 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. If you've seen the program you probably know his song.
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, glorious, and 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. And I am left standing before the King with nothing to bring. That is, nothing but myself.
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 his 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 imagine 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. That means a lot to me.
This song always brings my focus back to the truth. It is not who I am or what I've done but Who He is and what He has done that matters now and eternally.