Arts & Culture

Like the Little Drummer Boy, Every One of Us Has Been Given Talents We Can Give as Gifts to Christ

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Editor’s note: This holiday season, we want to begin the countdown to Christmas by discussing the biblical truths found in our favorite Christmas carols and the connection these truths have to our work. We’ll explore a different carol each week until Christmas. This week, we kick things off with a meditation on the “Little Drummer Boy” and how it encourages us to offer our talents as gifts to Christ. 

I love to give gifts; it’s my favorite part of Christmas. It’s a special kind of fun to choose the perfect toys for my six nephews and find the softest sweater for my mom.

Harder to find though, is the gift I can give to my Savior. Actually, I never think of giving a gift to Christ. He does not need anything from us; he is perfect.

When my parents always say they don’t need anything from me when I ask what they would like for Christmas, it doesn’t change my desire to find something to show them I care about their special quirks. But, what can I give to the Lord?

Obedience? I find myself not staying as obedient as I should.

Worship and adoration? That’s an easier one, but it’s usually in competition with the many other activities that overwhelm this season.

So, what can “busy” people give to Christ? Let’s give God our talent this Christmas. A lovely little song can show us how.

More Than Just Drumming

Many Christmas hymns inspire personal reflection, but none more so than the “Little Drummer Boy.”

A song that most of us first heard as young children, its message packs a punch in describing how our God-given gifts can be used to reflect glory back to God.

Let’s review: A little boy goes to visit our newly born King. This boy has no name, no money, no title, no power, nothing of note. He lacks everything that society would say is important.

He knows he’s supposed to bring “his finest gift” to honor the King. He understands his material poverty and fears he has nothing “to bring that’s fit for a King.”

But, our God is not like an earthly king who views gold and material things as the only gifts worth receiving. Our God wants us.

It just so happens that God made this young boy with a special talent. He likes to drum and chooses to give the gift of a song. He strives to play his “best,” and does so.

In a poignant and lovely way, the song finishes with the line, “And then He smiled at me, me and my drum,” demonstrating that Christ was pleased with the humble offering.

The power of this story demonstrates how anyone can take a small talent given from God and use it as a gift in return.

For the little drummer boy, glory to God means taking a simple act like drumming and doing it to the fullest so that it brings glory and honor back to the Lord. He infuses his drumming with a love that makes it more than just drumming. He takes “the only thing he has” and turns it into a gift like gold.

Every one of us has been given talents that, in a similar way, we can infuse with our love to give as gifts to Christ.


Send Some of Your Talent to Christ

I love this song because it reminds us how interconnected our lives are to Christ.

He gives us every aspect of our design, including our special quirks, desires, passions, and preferences. He notices them in us, for he put them on our hearts, so we shouldn’t forgo using them to bring him honor.

When I contemplate my special and unique talents, I think about my love of cooking.

Several years ago, my mother found herself working early on Thanksgiving morning (she’s a baker, and sweet treats are always in high demand that day). I had to assume the role of Master Chef for the most important and complicated meal of the year! Instead of misery, I found myself loving the preparation of such a feast.

Knowing that God made me with a special desire to cook, I try to go above and beyond in my meals to please the loved ones I cook for. I now buy Bon Appétit magazines and bookmark blogs in search of extra-special recipes to add to the “menu” I craft each year.

I know that this is a gift God has given me. When I think about a Sunday dinner I would like to cook for my boyfriend, or search for the best dish to complement a family celebration, I contemplate Christ’s love and tender design of me. I pray that my love for cooking can be a gift to God when I do it knowing it is through him that I have this special talent.

The wonderful thing about our Savior is how little he expects from us – a simple meal preparation can be a way to worship him. As we wait in joyful anticipation of Christ’s birth and fill our calendars with fun celebrations, don’t forget to give as the Little Drummer Boy gave and offer up some of your talent to Christ this Christmas.

Like the little drummer boy, every one of us has been given talents we can give as gifts to Christ. Discover yours by reading How Then Should We Work? Rediscovering the Biblical Doctrine of Work.

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