What gifts should we bring before the King this Christmas? There are two stories that I believe show us how we can bring gifts before Jesus this Christmas.
The first is the story of the Wise Men. The wise men looked for Jesus, they came to Jesus. That is really the first and most important gift we can ever give to our God, to watch for Him in our lives, to search for Him, to be present with Him! However, the wise men don’t end there, they bring gifts of value to give the King.
The second story is not recorded in the Bible but passed down as a legend. True or not, we can learn from this too, the story of the drummer boy.
According to legend, there was once a young boy who was asleep in his house. A sudden sound woke him up and he was startled to find a parade taking place right outside his house. As a child, this young boy called Zach, was fascinated with parades and always wanted to be a part of it. He would often dream about dressing up and marching with others in the parade while playing the drum. Incidentally, Zach’s parents gifted him with a drum set for his birthday the previous year, and seeing the parade taking place outside his house, Zach realized that it was his only chance to get out, play the drums and be a part of the colorful gala.
He was stunned to see that the people who were parading outside were not ordinary men and women. They looked like wealthy people who were sitting on camels and were richly dressed. There were servants who led these camels, and Zach believed that this parade was headed towards Herod’s palace.
Therefore, like any other inquisitive 12 year old, Zack slipped out of his house, making sure not to awaken his parents and took his drum with him. Once he crept out of the door, he began playing the drums once he got in line with the parade; somewhere behind the last camel. He was unsure of where the big group was headed to, and he began to get carried away with his drum. He forgot that the people in Jerusalem were sleeping and all the noise that he was making, might actually awaken them. People scowled, yelled and even threw stones at poor little Zack, but he refused to stop playing. Little did Zack know that the parade was actually headed towards Bethlehem, and that he was headed towards a shed where a baby boy was born.
The people knew right away that the new born baby was special because there was a single star that shone brightly in the sky above. All the wise men on the camels and the shepherds who were part of the parade carried princely gifts with them, but little Zack had nothing with him, but his drum. Zack noticed that the poorest widow at the shed also had something to present to the newborn, and gave in everything that she required to live, to this unique child.
After all the other onlookers had left, the little drummer boy stood alone in the shed; his presence unnoticed. He was disappointed for not having brought a single gift with him. Without knowing what to do next, he began playing his drum, slow at first and then loud. Legend states, that Baby Jesus responded to the sound, turned his head towards the drummer boy and smiled; the first response to any gift presented to him on this special day. The drummer boy was no longer sad, as he believed that he presented Baby Jesus with the greatest gift of all; the gift of love.
I believe these stories illustrate the gifts we should all bring to the King. The first gift is the gift of your presence. To watch for God’s work in our lives, to seek to be near Him as the wise men and Zack, the drummer boy did. Then we should bring gifts of value (or our money/wealth) as the Wise Men did. Today that doesn’t look like expensive boxes filled with gold presented to a poor family in a stable but it is our financial gifts given to the poor of this world. The drummer boy also shows us another girt we can bring, that is our time and talents. This can be in spending time with God and also using your time and your talents to serve people. A talent doesn’t have to be something big, in Haiti holding and loving the kids is a talent and a way to love God.