It started as a joking thread on Facebook. A friend commented how he couldn’t stand the Christmas song “The Little Drummer Boy.”
I got a chuckle. I’m personally a fan of the song. I find it soothing and sweet. But it is a fictitious scene!
One argument against the song was that Mary as a new mom would never have really allowed a little boy to come drumming next to her sleeping newborn.
Having been through the newborn experience twice, I had to admit that was an interesting point. But I wondered… would she have really turned away a little boy?
Then I happened to catch The Little Drummer Boy playing on the radio. I listened to each line carefully this time instead of singing along half-aware.
I listened as a mom of two little boys.
And I began to cry.
Because I heard something new this time:
I heard a little boy answering an invitation.
I saw a little boy enthusiastically running to meet the Saviour-King.
“And they came with haste, and found… the babe…” Luke 2:16.
I saw a little boy’s dismay at having nothing to offer.
I see him take a brave breath and offer to play his little drum.
I see the boy beat-beat-beat away, delighted to have something to give.
“but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:44.
I see a mother, nodding, graciously accepting a child’s offer of love.
I see her ponder each moment with her newborn, catching a glimpse of her own son, giving His all to a world that wouldn’t answer His invitation as joyously as this little boy.
“But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19.
I see Jesus smile at a child giving his best.
“Suffer the little children to come unto me.” Mark 10:14.
A boy with childlike faith.
A mother with understanding grace.
A Saviour who welcomes the littlest and poorest to His side.
The same trio is here in our home. And I ask myself: What lessons can I learn from my two little drummer boys?
Do I encourage my boys to hear the invitation of Christ? To run to the Saviour? To humbly meet the Lord? To give their best to Him? To ignore the judgement of others as they serve the King?
I’ll admit – this year with two active young boys, I’ve struggled to balance the Advent Calender, Bible story reading, decorating, crafting, baking, and activities… papers and ribbons float around the house, baking dishes pile up in the sink, and yes, once I had to banish the playroom for a day, just bring a little simplicity back into our life.
I hope I never shush our boys’ desire to worship Jesus. Never tell them their faith is too far-fetched, their praise too loud, their joy too bothersome, too disruptive. Never tell them they have to clean up, perfect their performance, or tone it down before coming to Christ.
My little drummer boys bound about the house banging drums, crafting impromptu gifts, hollering out songs they’ve learned at church.
When they’re loud, it’s because they haven’t yet learned to be self-conscious about how they sound.
When they’re messy, it’s because their whole heart is poured into their work.
When they beg for more Christmas songs, cookie baking, craft making, it’s because they’re learning about taking whatever’s in your hand and giving it away…. to honor Him.
The Little Drummer Boy is a fiction. However, may his kind of faith, giving, and serving the Saviour not be a fiction in our lives this Christmas!
I wish you all a Merry Christmas!