Pa rum pum pum.
I am practicing for the church Christmas cantata.
So is my two-year-old son.
I hear him from the backseat of the minivan, singing along with the CD, instinctively drumming his hands to The Little Drummer Boy.
Then he wiggles and bobs his head and does a little toddler dance of intense motion.
Pum pum pum, he sings.
All this Christmas season, my son has been singing this song. It’s his favorite. He reacts the same way every time, with participation, with whole body involvement, with spontaneous joy.
And, besides all that, it’s the one song that he knows most of the words to.
Pum pum pum. He belts it out.
It’s not a Christmas carol I’ve ever given much thought to. Being the realist I am, I’ve always balked at an extra-biblical kid with a drum hovering near the manger scene, rapping out a rhythm for the newborn Savior.
But as a parable….as a story digging God-centered truth down deep within me…..it’s captured my attention.
Perhaps this is because I’ve played it over and over and over again for my son and then it gets stuck in my head and I pretty much cannot escape hearing this song all….day…..long….
It’s here, this line, that gets me every time: “I have no gift to bring…that’s fit to give a King…. Shall I play for you?”
What’s more fitting than our worship?
What’s more treasured and valued by God than our praise offering?
Some of you might be fighting for the joy this season.
You could rush yourself right past the purpose of Christmas, caught up in the busyness, buried in the rush, made breathless by the expectations and demands on your time, on your attention, on your wallet, on your soul.
Maybe it’s hard to see the Light of Christmas through the crushing darkness of your circumstances.
This year, though, I’m not fighting for joy; I’m fighting for worship. For awe. To be captivated anew by the weight of His glory.
I’m battling and warring against the ‘blahs’ of same-old, same-old.
It’s remembering that family movie nights with The Grinch, hot chocolate and popcorn, lights and wreaths, traditions, baking sessions, and picking that perfect present are fun, but they aren’t ‘it.’
It’s hearing that well-known Christmas story one more time and gasping in amazement that God came down for us.
Not rattling off Linus’s speech from the Peanuts’ Christmas movie (love that, by the way), but letting the truth sink, sink, sink into the hardened soil of my heart to saturate me with Christ’s astonishing love.
And then responding like I should in the face of so much glory—on my knees, hands raised, heart expectant, worshipping Him as spontaneously and as wholeheartedly as a two-year-old crooning along to The Little Drummer Boy in the minivan.
My truest response to God’s greatest Gift should be an offering of praise.
That’s Mary. She sings in worship:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior (Luke 1:46 EV).
That’s Zechariah after 9 months of silence:
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has visited and redeemed his people (Luke 1:68 ESV).
That’s the angels who spontaneously exclaim in one unified voice, praising God:
“Glory to God in the highest
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (Luke 2:13-14 ESV).
That’s the shepherds, who high-tailed it off of that mountain to see this Savior. They left the infant Messiah that night:
“glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen” (Luke 2:20 ESV).
That’s the wise men, journeying with anticipation and finally arriving to see Jesus:
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh (Mathew 2:11 ESV).
At church, I tell the children playing wise men in the Christmas program to kneel and set their gifts (carefully) down as they bow.
But I tell them the truth, how those magi didn’t gingerly drop to one knee in the presence of Christ.
No, they hit their faces to the ground in adoration and humility.
In Unafraid, Susie Davis writes that the word really means:
They prostrated themselves and did him homage…laid out completely. Hands in the dung. Soiled robes. Crowns knocked off. Faces to the ground.
A poor girl from a small town.
A faithful priest.
Sages from afar.
The Christmas account is awash with praise: Spontaneous, heart-resonant, knees-to-the-earth surrendered worship to a Savior so worthy, to a Savior so compassionate, to a Savior so glorious.
What can I bring Him? I am so small.
I bring Him my worship. I give Him my all.