Christmas time has often been a difficult time of year for me. When I didn’t know Jesus, it was all about gifts and money and me, but once Jesus came into my heart and life, I couldn’t seem to find my place in the Christmas narrative; until I met a little boy with a drum.
The Christmas song, ‘The Little Drummer Boy’, tells the precious story of a poor little boy who is summoned to the nativity of Jesus. With approval from Jesus’ mother Mary, he approaches the baby King, not with treasures of gold and silver or priceless oils, but with his only possession, his drum.
This little drummer boy brought so much joy to my heart, because I could identify with his inability to bring anything of worldly value to the King of kings. He sees that others are honouring this new King with their finest gifts, but this little boy, in his poverty, has no recourses that can help him honour Jesus as they can. Fearlessly, instead of turning away discouraged, he faces his reality and honestly states that he doesn’t have a gift that would be fit for a king, and simply say, “Shall I play for you?”
He is given the go-ahead by Mary, picks up his little drum and plays his best for baby Jesus. What a picture of pure worship! Even the animals in the stable are moved. This is a beautiful scene of a treasured offering of worship given out of love, with no crowds to watch, no platform to sing from, and no one to applaud or critique his playing. There was only one response, and that came from the King Himself, “Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum”.
To love the Lord with our entire being is an act of worship, not a religious prescription.
An expert of the law once tried to test Jesus with this question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus quoted today’s verse from Deuteronomy 6 and replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:36-37).
True worship flows from our devotion (loyalty, commitment, dedication) to our Lord.
True worship is and always will be only about Jesus. It is a spiritual posture of a heart that has believed and received God’s gift of life, which comes through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. At this time of year, we focus on the birth of Jesus, but we can never separate the cradle from the cross, because that is why He came!
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