Today’s lesson from Christmas Carols takes us to the classic song,
"Little Drummer Boy".
"The Little Drummer Boy," originally known as "Carol of the Drum," was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. It was recorded in 1955 by the Trapp Family Singers, and was further popularized in a 1958 by the Harry Simeone Chorale.
In the song, a poor young boy is summoned by the Magi to Jesus' side. But the boy, dressed in rags, feels very inadequate beside the royal visitors of the east. Especially when he sees them give Jesus costly gifts. So the boy gives the only thing he has: He plays his drum for Jesus.
The babe’s response? "He smiled at me".
A fanciful story? Perhaps. First of all, we know that the Magi weren't at the nativity, and there is no Biblical record of a drummer boy being summoned by them. Nonetheless, the lessons contained in this powerful song are vitally important for everyone.
Here are the lessons that drummer boy has to teach us:
1. The little boy approached Jesus.
This is the first step. We must seek Jesus, and when we do, we will find Him: "The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you..." (2 Chron 15:2 NKJV)
2. The little drummer boy was humbled by the royal presence.
This teaches us valuable lessons on how we, too, should approach the royal throne of Heaven. We, too, must go in, like the little drummer boy, fully aware of our inadequacies, fully cognizant of our unimportance, and fully appreciative of the fact that we have no right to be there!
Is this not a Biblical Truth? "If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." (2 Chron 7:14-15 NKJV)
Humility then, is the key to entering into the presence of God! When we humble ourselves, God hears us! God forgives us, He heals us, and He will lift us up!
3. The third lesson we can learn comes from the fact that the little boy, immediately recognizing the lordship of the baby King, desired to give Him a gift.
So often we enter the presence of God with a little "daddy-do" list. You know what I'm talking about! "Father, please keep my son safe!" "Father, heal me of my cancer!" "Father, I beg you for a job!" But how often do we actually want to "give" something back to God?
Let's not go into God's presence with a "daddy-do" list. Instead, let's learn from the little drummer boy. Let's recognize the Kingship and Lordship of our Lord and Savior above all! Let's go into His presence with an attitude of giving!
4. The final lesson we can learn from the little drummer boy has to do with what he gave the Babe. He couldn't afford a gift, so he gave what he had: His talent.
So many times I've said, and heard others say, "But who am I to spread the gospel? What do I have that God could use? I’m nobody!"
Let's look at the story of the talents: "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one..." (Matt 25:14-16 NKJV)
Remember, God doesn't leave anyone without talents, and as you read the parable, you see that how many talents each one has was not important to the man. Rather, it is what they do with them!
"So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.' His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' ...Then he who had received the one talent came and said, '...I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant...you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.'" (Matt 25:20-28 NKJV)
Friends, we all have gifts. It is our choice to either use them or to hide them away. The little drummer boy didn't hide his talent. He used it. He played for baby Jesus, and Jesus smiled at him!
No matter how humble or lowly our talents may be, when we give them back to Jesus by using them to His glory, we, too, get a smile from Jesus: "Well done, good and faithful servant...Enter into the joy of your lord."
Friends, when you hear The Little Drummer Boy this Christmas, remember these four important lessons:
1. It is only when we seek Jesus that we will find Him. So let's seek today!
2. We must approach the Lord in all humility of spirit, for when we do, God will forgive our sin and heal our souls.
3. We must recognize God's Lordship, and rather than going in with a list of requests, we should go in prepared to give Him gifts!
4. The gifts we give back to God don't have to be expensive or big. Rather, we should give back to God whatever we have, for in so doing, we will earn a "well done" from the King of the Universe!
Join us next week for We Wish You a Merry Christmas! Lessons From Christmas Carols, Part 3.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
(To access the entire "Lessons From Christmas Carols" mini-series, please click here.)