Of all the Christmas movies I enjoyed as a child, my favorite was The Little Drummer Boy.
The story behind the movie comes from an old Czech tale and song called “The Carol of the Drum.” In both, there is a young boy who is poor and has very little, perhaps nothing, to offer the newborn baby Jesus. In the movie, the young boy’s parents were killed, and he has not been able to let go of his unhappiness and bitterness. In fact, he cannot even smile—he must paint one on to appear happy in the times and places he is expected to be happy. Many of us can relate to that, can’t we? We’re supposed to be happy, especially at Christmas, but we’re just not. So we fake it.
And yet this little drummer boy is given the opportunity to be presented before the glory and holiness of the newborn Jesus, the King of the World, our Savior. In the presence of the wise men’s wealthy gifts, he feels he has nothing to offer. But God has made him able to create music with his simple drum, and that is what he gives, the talent and gift God has given him offered back in a song of praise. Each of us can, as Psalm 96:1 exhorts us, “Sing to the Lord a new song,” even though most of us won’t be offering a literal song. We can play our best for Jesus by offering our God-given talent back to him in a new way, a heartfelt way.
I would posit that the wise men gave four gifts. The traditional three we think of often: gold, frankincense, myrrh. But was the fourth present the gift of worship? Many of us have little or none of the first three to offer, but all of us can richly give of the fourth.
We can duplicate, replicate, invest, and offer whatever talents God has given us. And we can worship. When we do, in spirit and truth (John 4:24), for a moment, an hour, a week, a month, or more, we will find we no longer need to paint on that smile!
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 29:2