It’s two weeks before Christmas and everywhere I go, I hear the old familiar Christmas carols – The First Noel, Deck the Halls, Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and The Little Drummer Boy...to name just a few. Every popular musician, secular and Christian, has at least one Christmas album filled with their musical version of these songs that have been around for generations. My favorite version of The Little Drummer Boy is actually by a children's Christian band called Go Fish. In their rendition, they've inserted a rather catchy bridge repeating "I play my drum; I play my drum for the One who saves me." The first time I heard this, the message of the song finally came alive for me in a way I'd never heard it before.
The song is about bringing what you have to the Lord as your gift, your act of love and obedience. A poor drummer boy doesn't bring gold he doesn’t have and wise men/kings from afar wouldn't dream of bringing nothing but a song. Last week I wrote about expressing love for God by loving others. I'm not talking about the extraordinary gestures too many of us think we need to offer to please God - giving away all you money and living on the streets, or giving up everything and moving to a leper colony. There are some whom God calls to these extraordinary tasks just as the wise men brought the most rare, expensive gifts to the Christ child. However, the birth of Christ was also announced to shepherds who had nothing and they were not hesitant to go and offer their admiration to the King, nor were they turned away when they arrived empty handed. Perhaps they gave Jesus some wool. Like the drummer boy in the Christmas carol, they gave of themselves from what they had.
Everyone has much they can give to the Christ child. There are too many possibilities to ever form a comprehensive list, but in considering this for myself this past week, I came up with a few ordinary gestures of love most of us can offer to the Christ child this Christmas and in the coming year.
- Do you drive? Take a senior who can't drive to a doctor's appointment. Work during doctor's hours? How about taking them to church with you, or taking them out to dinner with your family when you go?
- Do you know how to read? Volunteer to tutor school-aged kids in the afternoon or adults in the evening.
- Do you like to crochet or knit or quilt? Be like Dorcus and bring hope to a dark cold corner of your community with handmade blankets, scarves, hats and gloves, sweaters, etc.
- Do you like to work with tools or do minor household repairs? Organizations like Hosanna Industries or Habitat for Humanity are just waiting for you. Don't have a whole Saturday to give every once in a while. How about an afternoon, fixing a widow's sink or fence?
- Still too complicated? How about shoveling the snow off of a neighbor's walk or driveway? Live in an apartment complex? How about cleaning the snow off of a disabled person's car?
May the peace of Christ be with you this week.