The Little Drummer Boy Revisited

Some years ago I wrote this article:

No, he isn’t in the Biblical story. Aaron did not travel with the Magi and was not present at the birth of Jesus. Yet, the way the song is written, he could have been. Originally titled “Carol of the Drum”, the song is about a young boy summoned by the Magi to go with them to present gifts to the newborn King.  Upon arriving, the boy realizes he has no gift that is fit to give a king, much less the King of Kings. All he has is his ability to play the drum, so he asks if he can play it for him. As Mary nods permission, he plays his best for the baby Jesus and is rewarded with a smile from the Lord.

While fiction, the song gives a powerful message. Jesus is the King and is worthy of being honored by us. All that we have to give Him we should surrender to Him. Even our crowns in heaven will be laid back at His feet for He alone is worthy. It isn’t just material things, like gold, frankincense or myrrh, that we can give but also our God-given abilities. All that we give Him should reflect our best effort, like the drummer boy’s song. And a smile from Him, a show of approval, well … that is definitely reward enough. “Well done, good and faithful servant, well done.”

Oh, and in the tv show Aaron is angry at life, owning a heart filled with hatred, and is powerfully changed when he encounters the baby Jesus. In the scene where his pet lamb is healed, why not? Jesus heals spiritually and physically. So watch it with joy, sing along heartily, include it in a cantata. Let the message of giving God our best because He alone is worthy of being praised.

In the years since I wrote this I keep thinking about the song and the cartoon tv special. It continues to hold a special place in my heart. Sing it, and while singing pledge to give your very best to the King of Kings. Give Him back what He has blessed you with, serve Him with your whole heart.

Come they told me pa rum pum pum pum
A newborn King to see pa rum pum pum pum
Our finest gifts we bring pa rum pum pum pum
To lay before the King pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum
So to honour Him pa rum pum pum pum

When we come
Baby Jesus pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring pa rum pum pum pum
That’s fit to give a King pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum
Shall I play for you? pa rum pum pum pum
on my drum?

Mary nodded pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him pa rum pum pum pum
rum pum pum pum rum pum pum pum
Then He smiled at me pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum

Simply. Church.

So tired of playing the church game. You know what I mean. Everyone smiles and says they are doing fine. I know better. As their pastor, I see who is hurting. This one is crippled by fear. Another is a worry wart. This guy is losing his job and his wife is scared they may lose their home. This lady is battling cancer, again. This couple desperately wants children but cannot. Another couple is concerned about their rebellious child. Still a third is separated and aren’t sure they want to reconcile.

Beginning today, our church is redoing our services. We have one simple rule – no masks. Honesty is to reign. Trust will be rebuilt. Hope restored. No fluff. No Oprah rah-rah.  Simply. Church. Where we come together to worship God and lift up each other. We will spend time in confession, testimony and the Word. We will plead with God to remake our lives, our family, our church. We will ask for the Spirit’s power to cleanse and empower us to live godly lives. Because, Christ bids us to come just as we are and He loves us enough not to leave us there.

Simply. Church.  I wonder why we ever got away from that.

Podcast – 2 Sides of the Same Coin

 

Confession and Testimony make up 2 sides of the same coin. A testimony is defined not just as what God does for us, but what we do well for His Kingdom. Confession would be the admission of what we are doing wrong for His Kingdom.

 

Preached at Immanuel Baptist, Havre in July, 2012