Advent: expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus
“Little Drummer Boy”
Come, they told me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
A newborn king to see (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
Our finest gifts we bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
To lay before the king (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x3]
So, to honor Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
When we come
“You need to see this.”
“This is unbelievable.”
“I have never seen anything like it.”
Often times in our culture we use these phrases a little to quickly, a little too flippantly. But when someone comes to you and can’t wait to show you what they’ve seen, there is palpable excitement in the air, energy running through your veins. If only you could hit pause in that moment. If you could hit pause, you’d find yourself grateful that your friend thought enough of you to say, “Hey, I need to share this with [go ahead, enter your name here]!” In our Christmas song that we’re looking at, something has happened that warrants the following command: “Come! You need to see this.”
We find out that a king has been born. Not too applicable for our day, right? But in the context of the Bible, this was a big deal. King had a lineage. They had a story. They were greatly anticipated. This was really big deal. So big that it would be appropriate to bring gifts. Not just any gifts, but our finest gifts. Why? Why would a king need gifts? If he’s a king, why would he need any gift from a poor person like me? And didn’t you say he was a newborn? Why would a newborn need gifts? I mean in 2012 we do the baby registry and all, but back then? What gifts would he possibly need?
No, this baby must be different. The character in this song says that (a) you need to come, and (b) you need to bring your finest gifts. That’s how we’ll honor him, with our finest gifts. It would be appropriate to bring wonderful gifts to honor this king. It’s at this point in the Advent Blog that I need to assume you know that the Christmas story is one of Jesus coming to earth. You may not believe it, but you should at least know it. If you know the story of the Bible, you know that Jesus is the King, the Savior, the focal point of God’s redemptive plan. This Advent Blog assumes that you at least understand the premise of the Christian faith.
So for a moment, imagine the scene of someone pleading with you to come see this baby King. You’re instructed to bring your finest gifts. Empty the piggy bank. Go above and beyond. Make it a gift from the heart, a gift that means something. Don’t settle for giving the sweater. This has to be special. Dig deep. What do you have? What can you give? How can you honor the King?
Advent is about expectant waiting, but it’s also about preparing. Imagine how you would prepare if you were about to be in the presence of royalty. The little drummer boy, in this fictional story, has received a divine invitation. He’s been invited to meet the King. Can you hear the song playing? Are you listening? Are you responding? It’s telling you, “Come, we’ve got to see this. Bring gifts for royalty, bring the best you’ve got?”
What are you bringing? You have one shot to make one impression. What will you lay before the King? You need to prepare.
(You can move to the next post, Scene 2, here)