Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!
One of my very favorite Christmas Carols, as performed by just about anyone, is the Little Drummer Boy, first penned as Carol of the Drums by Katherine Davis in 1941. It is the imagined story of the First Christmas through the eyes of a little boy who is invited to witness the miracle of the Christ child, and has no gift to offer but the playing of his drum.
The song has been popular for decades, perhaps because it was written in an era when so many people had so little to offer their loved ones at Christmas that wasn't handmade or didn't come from a store. That gift of the little drummer boy's talent and his presence over presents is a message that resonates still today. And it is scriptural.
In a day and time where the only day off was a Sabbath, a day given to God and not merely to self, the song was placed a context easily missed today. The modern concept of weekends and vacation days was unimaginable to those gathered at the manger. To be present was truly a sacrifice. By comparison, few of us have fields or flocks to tend. Being present to worship the Christ child is more about scheduling than sacrifice. And yet... are we present? Do we play our best for him?
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, will we bow before the Christ Child? Will we place all we have and all we are before the King? Will we bring and invite our children to the manger? Will we prioritize worship and make time in our busy traditions and gatherings to go and see this thing that has happened and about which we have been told?
I hope I will see all of you on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I hope you will go and find those who may be alone at this time. And then he will smile at you. Pa rum pump um pum. Amen.
Prayer for Today
Lord, come and fill my heart. Help me to come before you eagerly to offer all I have and all I am to worship you. Help me to find the time to be with you in worship as you have come to be with us in Jesus, Emmanuel. Amen.