As Tracy and I were enjoying some time together listening to Christmas music this week, one of our all-time favorite Christmas songs, The Little Drummer Boy, began to play. It was the classic Bing Crosby version, and, as music has the power to do, it immediately took me back to my childhood. I have vivid memories of eagerly waiting for certain shows to come on the television (there was no streaming back then!). Whether it was Rudolph, Frosty, or Charlie Brown, we never missed gathering together as a family to watch them. One of the less popular Christmas shows – but maybe my favorite – was The Little Drummer Boy. There was just something about that show that captured my heart.
As I listened to it this week, I tried to figure out what exactly it was that attracted me to this song and the show. And then the final verse was played…
I am a poor boy, too
I have no gift to bring
That’s fit to give our king
Shall I play for you?
The ox and lamb kept time
I played my drum for him
I played my best for him
Then he smiled at me
Me and my drum
I’ll admit, when those words, “Then He smiled at me,” came on, my eyes filled with tears and this incredibly deep and powerful wave of emotion came over me. I’m sure there is some deep psychological analysis that should be performed on me, but when I heard that, I think I realized what it was that made me love this song: as much as I work and strive to get the approval of men, it is the smile of my Lord that I truly desire and that I was created to seek.
Each of us have gifts that God has given to us. Some have gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Others of us have a simple gift like playing a drum. Regardless of the gift and as the song says, we are called to give our best. That is all our Father wants. And when we do that, when we live our lives as an offering to Him and for His purpose and His glory, we will get in return the most precious and powerful gift we can possibly receive: His smile.
May we bring a smile to the Father this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Immanuel, God with us.
I am so grateful to be part of a community that seeks His smile. On behalf of the entire faculty and staff, I want to wish you a very merry Christmas, a happy new year, and a joy-filled start to 2021!
Matthew H. Skinner