I know many people with very strong opinions about when you can and can’t play Christmas music. Most of the debate rages over “How early is too early?” Must one really wait until after Thanksgiving? Regardless of where you stand on that dilemma, most likely you stop listening to it on December 26, unless you are really into Christmas music. So, apologies if you’re appalled by a January 2nd posting. However, we still have four days in the twelve days of Christmas that lead up to Epiphany. (If you thought the 12 days of Christmas were a countdown of how many shopping days you have left, click the link and learn about the tradition of Christmastide.) This is still a season of adoring Jesus in a manger…
And, as the Inn starts, I have one more reflection as we gaze upon this child. Unfortunately, the reflection surrounds what is honestly one of my least favorite Christmas songs:
This is called the “perfect version,” so I had to share. I think this song usually just wears me out with the repetitive “Pa rum pa pum pum” -ness of it all. It’s almost as bad as fa la la la la la la la la la la la la la or whatever. But, I have to admit that something about the non drumbeat lyrics struck me upon a recent hearing of the song.
Little Drummer Boy (henceforth LDB) is not a song you will sing in church and it tells the story of a little boy’s journey to see the baby Jesus. To be clear, this is also not a story you read about in the Bible. The protagonist of the song, though, teaches us a valuable lesson that is mostly in these lines (drumbeats omitted):
I have no gift to bring,
That’s fit to give a King…
Shall I play for You,
On my drum?
Looking around, LDB must have seen the gifts the wise men brought and felt the same way you and I feel when we arrive at a party empty-handed when everyone else brought something for the host/hostess.
How often do you long to be faithful, long to approach Jesus — gaze upon Him — and yet feel unworthy to do so… What do *I* have to offer Jesus, after all? The answer we learn from this song, whether we like the tune of it or not, is simply this: whatever we have. Jesus is not asking You to bring something to the table you don’t have — in the case of LDB, he didn’t need to find some gold or myrrh to approach Jesus. In our case, we don’t have to be someone we’re not, comparing ourselves and our gifts to others. Instead, Jesus just asks us to bring what we have, with open hands, and to bless him with it.
Tomorrow night (1/3), we start a new series at the Inn, I Become, which centers on our transformation when we’re in relationship with Jesus. I hope this song is a reminder to us that the journey of transformation starts wherever we are, whoever we are now. The important action we must take is to bring ourselves to Jesus first.
Becky R, UMin Executive Assistant