The "Little Drummer Boy's" Gift

Have you ever listened to the lyrics of the "Little Drummer Boy"? A few years ago, I heard Bob Seger's version for the first time, and while I had always enjoyed the Christmas classic, I had never really digested the words & message.

In the second verse, when arriving to find baby Jesus, the drummer boy says, "I am a poor boy too...I have no gift to bring, fit to give a king." The humbled, and presumably despondent little boy then offers the one thing he does have. He asks baby Jesus, "Shall I play for you...on my drum?"

Here, you have a baby promised to be the king of the world, surrounded by wise men pouring out costly gifts upon him, and then one poor little boy who can offer nothing but a performance on his little drum. In a world where we rack up credit card balances that we can’t afford in order to buy gifts for those we love, the little drummer boy & baby Jesus have a message for us. The power of Christmas is not captured by giving out of our abundance. It is captured when we give ourselves, no matter how humble this expression might be.

“I played my drum for him…I played my best for him…Then [baby Jesus} smiled at me…me and my drum.” The king smiles at the drummer – he receives not just the drummer’s gift, but he receives and accepts the drummer himself. A poor little boy offers the only thing he has and is smiled upon by a king.

What a powerful gift…what a powerful reception. I hope your Christmas is filled with humility, vulnerability, kindness & grace towards everyone you meet, regardless of what they do or do not have to offer you. Then you’ll have glimpsed the power that authentic Christmas can be.

(To view my humble performance of the "Little Drummer Boy", see the YouTube link below or click on the post title above)