Advent: expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus
“Little Drummer Boy” (verse 2)
Little baby (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I am a poor boy too (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I have no gifts to bring (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
That’s fit to give a king (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x3]
Shall I play for you (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
On my drum?
Here’s our scene: A boy (a little drummer boy) has been instructed to come meet a new born baby king. The next verse of the song has a quality that can only be realized when the character is a child. He comes onto the scene and immediately makes a connection with the newborn, for he is a child too. And he knows he’s poor just like the baby. You can almost see the boy perk up and say to himself with a touch of confidence, “He’s just like me!” And at one level, he’s right.
But then he remembers the invitation. The gifts. The finest gifts. He’s connected with the baby but now he realizes the grandness of the situation. And he realizes he has no gifts to bring. He has nothing to offer this king. Yes, this is a baby lying in a stable. But this is also a king. The drummer boy knows this and responds appropriately: “I have no gifts to bring. If what they say is true, then I have nothing that is suitable for this king.”
And then it gets good. Again, only a kid could pull this off. He’s connected with the baby, he realized his gifts just are not enough, but he has one thing to offer. He can play his drum. “Is that a good idea?” he asks. “Can I just play for you?
When I reflect on the second verse of our Christmas song, I am amazed. When I really analyze the scene and imagine a boy coming to this manger and experiencing Jesus for the first time, his response blows me away. I want that. I want connect with Jesus the way the boy did. Jesus was a man. He walked the earth. He taught the people. He led by example. I want to connect with that Jesus. Then I want to realize that I have nothing worthy to offer such a King. Then I want to offer the only thing I have: my drum. Will that be enough?
As we anticipate and prepare for Christmas, let’s dig deep like the little drummer boy and think about what we have to offer the King. I think tomorrow’s post will be a refreshing, satisfying, and hopeful conclusion to the Advent Blog.
(You can move to the final post, Scene 3, here)