Advent: Understanding "Little Drummer Boy"

The story of the little drummer boy is not in the Bible, but this fictional story points to an important truth.

The Song

Are you a fan of Pentatonix? Their version of "Little Drummer Boy" amazes me. I don't know how a human mouth, throat, and voice can make all those complex drumming sounds. Wow! You can see for yourself in this video.

The Story

The song "Little Drummer Boy" tells the story of a young boy who was invited to go see the newborn King, Jesus. He worries that he is poor and has nothing to bring this special child as a gift. When the little drummer boy gets to the stable and sees the baby and the mother, Mary, the young boy asks if he can play them a song on his drum. What a special moment it would have been if a poor little drummer boy had actually had a chance to play his drum for the King of kings and His earthy parents. Can you imagine what that would feel like? Here are the lyrics to "Little Drummer Boy." Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum A new born 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 honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, When we come. Little Baby, 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 the 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.

The Truth

If you read the descriptions of Jesus' actual birth, there is no little drummer boy (Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2:21; John 1:1-18). Still, the Bible does say that God doesn't want or need fancy gifts. All He wants is your heart.
My son, give me your heart. May you be happy living the way you see me live. Proverbs 23:26 (NIRV) The Lord has shown you what is good. He has told you what he requires of you. You must act with justice. You must love to show mercy. And you must be humble as you live in the sight of your God. Micah 6:8 (NIRV) Jesus replied, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) This is the first and most important commandment. Matthew 22:37-38 (NIRV)
When we give God our heart, we turn away from our sin (doing wrong things and not doing the right things). We tell God we are sorry and mean it. We ask God to help us not sin anymore. This isn't just saying the words or doing your best to earn God's forgiveness. This free gift is received by really meaning it in your heart when you tell God you are sorry.
These people honor me by what they say. But their hearts are far away from me. Matthew 15:8 (NIRV) You don’t take delight in sacrifice. If you did, I would bring it. You don’t take pleasure in burnt offerings. The greatest sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. God, you will gladly accept a heart that is broken because of sadness over sin. Psalm 51:16-17 (NIRV) God’s grace has saved you because of your faith in Christ. Your salvation doesn’t come from anything you do. It is God’s gift. It is not based on anything you have done. No one can brag about earning it. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIRV)
First we repent of (turn from) our sin. Then we turn to Jesus. We believe that He is who the Bible says He is. We trust that He will save us from the punishment of our sin (Romans 6:23). You also trust God to know what is best for you. Since Jesus is the King of kings, died and came to life again for you, choose to love Him, trust Him, and obey Him for the rest of your life.
Say with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord.” Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved. With your heart you believe and are made right with God. With your mouth you say what you believe. And so you are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NIRV) Some people did accept him and did believe in his name. He gave them the right to become children of God. John 1:12 (NIRV)

What will you give?

At Christmas, we give gifts to each other. The first Christmas, God gave us the greatest gift ever--Jesus Christ. All He wants in return is your heart. He wants you to love and trust Him with all that you are. Have you done that? Would you like to do that? There is no better time than today. (See more in this video.)
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