This weekend Ike will be speaking to the Middle Schoolers at our church (ie. my worst nightmare) as part of a series they’re doing on Christmas carols. Each week, a different teacher gets to pick a Christmas carol as the theme of their talk, and Ike decided to go with “The Little Drummer Boy.”
As you probably know, “The Little Drummer Boy” shares the humble reflections of a boy invited to go and honor the newborn King Jesus. The boy is eager but also concerned; the visitors are instructed to bring their “finest gifts,” but he is a “poor boy” who has nothing “fit to give a King.” Finally, the little boy resolves to play his drum for the newborn babe, a gift that is modest but pleasing to both the God-child and his mother, Mary.
One of the reasons Ike chose this carol is that we have a baby boy in our own home right now, and there is much about the carol that rings true to our experience as parents. When it comes to gifts and entertainment, babies don’t need much. They don’t need gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They are not impressed by worldly treasures.They require far, far less.
In order to demonstrate this point, Ike had the great idea to film our own little boy’s response to “fine gifts.” You can see where this is going, but it’s still pretty funny:
(And yes, I’m only a little embarrassed that my fat fingers disrupted the giving of gifts)
As you can see from this scientific demonstration, babies are not impressed by the extravagances of our world. That diamond ring that Ike worked so hard to give me, and that I was so thrilled to receive–Isaac didn’t care one bit about it. He hardly even looked at it! That’s because babies only want one thing:
Little babies want US. They want our love, our attention, our smiles, and our care. Isaac didn’t give a lick about my diamond ring, but he LOVES to play. This is his latest “game”–pushing off of our hands and squealing with joy. There’s not a lot to it, but he could do it ALL DAY LONG.
This is pretty much true of all babies, human or divine. However, fallen humans eventually grow out of this simplicity. Rather than finding satisfaction in the things of God, our natures begin to crave the things of the world.
Jesus, on the other hand, never changes. Both as a tiny newborn and an Almighty God, he does not require expensive gifts or even shining good deeds. He simply wants US. He wants our love and our attention. That is what delights Him.
Although we are entering the season of Advent and preparing to honor Jesus’ birth, that is one aspect of our Savior that we can celebrate all year round. Think of that and give thanks to God the next time you hear “The Little Drummer Boy.”