What a little boy can teach

We’re familiar with many Christmas songs and sometimes know all the words, but do we reflect on the meaning?

I listen to Christmas songs the whole month of December. My kind of song is “Joy to the World,” snappy and uplifting. While I do appreciate the slower, more serious songs, I often skip over them to get to more rocking music. This year, however, I have been captivated by “The Little Drummer Boy.”

It’s almost as if I was hearing it for the first time. We’re introduced to the boy who is being invited to join a group who will visit a newborn king. This is what Advent is all about, joining in the preparation for Jesus as the newborn king. We are invited to join, but it is up to us to accept and take action.

Upon the drummer boy’s arrival, he explains he is poor and has no gift, but he can play a song on his drum for the baby. This struck me as every person at any moment in life. We are all poor in God’s eyes, since everything we have is a gift He gives us. The only thing we can offer Him is to use the gifts and talents to the best of our ability. The other discovery is that the boy knows he is poor and still goes to see the king. How often do we think we need to hide our spiritual poverty or work to overcome it, rather than going to God and acknowledging it?

The boy plays a song for the baby, with the approval of Mary. Mary is our mother too, do we seek her counsel on the actions we take? The animals around the manger seem to keep time with the boy playing his song. Have you noticed when others are assisting you in your spiritual activities, encouraging you to do God’s will?

The baby smiles at the drummer boy when he completes his song. Have you ever pictured Jesus smiling at you for some kindness or work of mercy?

No matter how far I travel on my faith journey, there is always a new perspective. Sometimes it comes from a new experience, but it can come from something so familiar, that I can’t recognize the gift in front of me. I hope you have been blessed with many unexpected gifts this year. Merry Christmas!


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