Today’s devotional is by Lucy McAllister

“Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum!” This line has become synonymous with the Christmas season as part of the beloved carol 'The Little Drummer Boy’. The lyrics of the song are written in the first person, and the speaker is a little drummer boy at the manger scene who had nothing to give baby Jesus but his drum solo. The song is sweet, reverent, and imaginative.

When I was young, I heard ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ playing on my parent’s CD player at Christmas time. I didn’t really pay attention to the lyrics or the meaning behind it, but I did appreciate the catchy tune and melody of the song.

The lyrics suggest that the little drummer boy is a young drummer marching onwards to attend the birth of Jesus Christ. He is too poor to be able to present a gift to the Son of God so, at the request of the newborn’s mother, Mary, the boy continues to drum instead of giving a material gift. The little drummer boy gives the gift of his music - “I played my best for Him, Then He smiled at me,

When I reflect on this, I think about how we are all like little children in God’s eyes, scrambling around trying to present our best gift to Him. Sometimes we think that our gifts are not as good as someone else’s. The fact is that we cannot bless God with any material thing we might have, but God doesn’t need our best gifts or material things, He wants us! He wants you to come as you are to Him and worship him.

The little boy is told that others are bringing gifts to honour baby Jesus and he confesses that he is poor and doesn't have anything to give, so he offers to play his drum. The boy plays the best he can, and the infant king smiles at him.

God is smiling at us when we come just as we are, recognising that it is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, that we can know Him and be reconciled to Him.