My favorite Christmas tune is “The Little Drummer Boy”. I don’t know much about the origins of this song and up until this year, I hadn’t even seen the “classic” movie that was based on it (or for all I know, that the song was based upon).
I know it’s not Biblical. But I love what is symbolizes.
I love that a boy, who I always presume played his drum to make meager funds to support himself, somehow hears about the birth of a savior and has to check it out. And, like the shepherds I wrote about in a previous post, he believes.
The Little Drummer Boy believes without a doubt that what he finds in that manger in that barn in Bethlehem is the most beautiful and most important thing he’s ever seen.
When it comes to be his turn to approach the new baby king, the Little Drummer Boy realizes that many of the others have brought gifts. And he knows that the messiah before him deserves a gift.
But he has none. So he thinks…
And he offers the only thing he possesses…the music of his drum; “I’m good at playing the drum,” he thinks…”Maybe I can play Him a song”…
“Shall I play for Him / pa-rum-pa-pum-pum”…And Mary nodded
So the boy plays. And I can only imagine that he played like he has never played before. With every ounce of effort and soul he can muster, every bit of skill and heart that he has within him.
Even the beasts around them recognize the beauty of the gift; “The ass and lamb kept time / pa-rum-pa-pum-pum”. And then…
The baby smiles at the Little Drummer Boy.
Truth be told, I see myself as the Little Drummer Boy. I guess he represents all of us.
Jesus Christ is there, right before me. And I recognize how great and worthy of a gift He is. But what do I have that I can offer him? At best, I am an insignificant peasant, dressed in the rags of my own sin and depravity, who doesn’t deserve to take up any amount of space in the presence of such a wonderful Being.
But, there I find myself. Not only in his presence, but at His very request, in a relationship with Him. And I have nothing that he needs. But, even though He doesn't NEED anything I have, he wants me to play my drum for him.
So, it’s my job to approach His throne, or His manger as it were, and play my drum with all of the effort and soul I can muster, and every bit of skill and heart I have within me.
What’s my drum? I’m not sure…but I’m working hard at finding out.
So, play your drum. And I’ll play mine. Don’t worry how your neighbor plays his. Don’t worry what your friend’s drum looks like, or how hers is different from yours.
We all have different drums and will all come up with different tunes to play. And it’s supposed to be that way. I’m pretty sure He wants it that way.
And as we play them…as we play our meager little drums, as best as we can…
He smiles at us.