Advent: expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus
“Little Drummer Boy” (verse 3)
Mary nodded (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
The ox and lamb kept time (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I played my drum for Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
I played my best for Him (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum) [x3]
Then, He smiled at me (pa-rum-pa-pum-pum)
Me and my drum
Remember: the newborn baby can’t respond when the drummer boy asks if he should play. So Mary nods at the boy… and he begins to play. The rest, well the rest is history.
But I want to leave you with this final observation. I don’t know what version of Little Drummer Boy plays in your head when you read this Advent Blog, but I listen to the live version by Jars of Clay. They recorded it at their studio (Gray Matters) in Nashville, Tennessee. Here’s the thing. They don’t have a drummer. A few different guys fill in for their shows, obviously, and even for this studio recording. But the band has four members, and none of them play drums. But you know what they do have? A sweet guitar player. And that is the point of the song. It’s not about the drum. The little drummer is literally identified by his drum. His identity, his name, even his purpose is wrapped up in this drum. And Jars takes this song, they realize it’s not about the drum but it’s about the offering to the baby King. Bring what you have. Bring your best. Stephen Mason does just that in this interpretation. His guitar is featured right as verse three starts (1:55), and then crescendos as the song finishes. When I think about playing my best before the Lord, when it’s supposed to be a drum but instead it’s a great guitar solo, I get the chills.
In this world it is so easy to compare. We compare to family, friends, co-workers, the guy next door, the guy on the TV. I am the worst. It is literally a daily struggle for me. And if I was forced to play my drum, forced to play how the world has identified me, I would fail. And I’d be unhappy. And I wouldn’t be bringing my best to the newborn King.
Let’s embrace the Little Drummer Boy, as interpreted by Jars of Clay. Let’s bring our finest gifts. When the song and the world calls for us to play like a little drummer boy, let’s pick up whatever we have and play our best for the Lord.
Then he’ll nod at me.
Me and my [drum].
(for best results, turn up your speakers)