Pastoral Musings from Rain City

it's about 'what is church?' it's about whether 'emergent' is the latest Christian trend or something more substantial. it's musing on what it means to live the city, in America, in community, intergenerationally, at this time in history...

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bang the Drum for the Baby?

I’m thinking a little bit these days about that song, “The Little Drummer Boy” Can you imagine an exhausted mother, having just delivered her child in a cold unsanitary stable, granting permission to a little kid to come in and beat on his drum in the baby’s presence? I can’t. But that’s exactly what happened. He played his drum, played his best, which wouldn’t be much in terms of soothing sounds even if he were a prodigy, because drummers are notoriously unmelodic. I know. I am one.

So here’s this little kid wailing away on the drum and the punch line of the story is that the baby looks up and smiles at him. It’s all a little bit nonsensical, until you remember that later the little baby would grow up to be a teacher and point out a woman putting two cents in the offering plate, saying that she’d given more than everyone else combined. Either it was a really bad day for the offering, or else Jesus was saying something more profound: God wants us, yes desperately desires for us to give what he have to Him as an offering. Yes, this includes the sacrifice of my material stuff – but that’s not what I’m thinking about right now.

Right now, I’m remembering that Jesus smiles when I offer hospitality in His name even though I’m tired, or a listening ear to a person who irritates me, or a cooked meal for a couple who are going through a tough time, or my two cents, or my drum.

The whole silly story is very real to me, because I played drums all through my formative years – I liked sports, but in my large high school, my 130 pounds wouldn’t have worked on the football team, or my 5’ 6” frame in the gym. So I played drums… all the time… with a bagpipe band, and a jazz band, and an opera orchestra. It’s all I had.

God doesn’t seem to care what we have in our hand. Rather, he cares that we offer it to Him by showing up with our gifts and serving our family, our neighbors, our church community, our city, in His name. And the glory of it is that Jesus smiles on these imperfect offerings because He’s never needed our perfection, only our availability.

Rum-pa-pum-pum. Go ahead – give him what you have this season. He’ll smile.


At 7/12/05 13:45, Blogger Rob said...

Nice to find your blog Richard!

At 10/12/05 23:11, Anonymous Penny said...

what a good reminder -- now if only to take time away from "holiday duties" to remember this simple act.


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