What is Your Gift to Bring?

by gary-foote on December 13, 2013

Do you get stopped in your tracks thinking you have nothing to give to God that is worthy of Him? Maybe it’s time to learn a lesson from the Little Drummer Boy.I was recently at an event where my good friend David Calavitta (check out his site Hold Fast to Hope)  was speaking that had a big impact on me. David is also a Catholic youth speaker and Catholic retreat leader and his talk was an Advent talk called, “No Gift to Bring.” In his talk David brought some great insights to the famous story of the Little Drummer Boy. I’ve always loved that song (especially the arrangement by Jars of Clay) but I never really thought about all that was happening in the scene painted so beautifully by the lyrics.

a toy drum isolated on white with a clipping path

The boy in the story comes before the Infant King, Jesus, looks around and sees a world of adults who have come to worship with things like gold, frankincense, and myrrh. He realizes that this King deserves more than he can offer as a poor boy. He has no external gift to bring, but bravely he offers the greatest gift that he has, his song. For this “Little Drummer Boy,” his song is very much the gift of his life. All he has is music. Our tradition never gives him a name like we have done with the three kings (Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazzar) and we do not know where he came from or where he goes next. All we are told about this boy is that he shows up, asks the Blessed Virgin Mary if he should play for the newly born Jesus, and then plays his best for Him.

As I sit and think about the story of the Little Drummer Boy I’m amazed about his willingness to not look at what he didn’t have but rather what he did have to give. We are all inadequate of offering to God the riches that He truly deserves, but what is the next step that we take? Do we decide that since we cannot give to God what He truly deserves that we should not offer anything at all out of our shame of offending Him? Or, do we take a lesson from the Little Drummer Boy and dig down deep within and realize that we can give of our very core to the King of Kings? My prayer for these next two weeks of Advent is that I might be able to realize that what I have can still be offered to God, no matter how small it may seem in comparison to what He deserves or others can give. I pray you have a very blessed and fruitful last 2 weeks of Advent.


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