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You’d have to wear ear plugs to avoid hearing Christmas songs during this season.

My wife and I pulled into the parking lot of the closest outdoor mall to our house. We’ve accepted the role as Santa’s helpers. Actually we’ve never seen our boss, come to think of it, his assistant either… Somehow we got the memo on our Christmas responsibilities.

Anyway, we were listening to Christmas songs in the car. As soon as I shut the engine off and opened the door, a new Christmas song was being piped into the parking lot and all throughout the mall.

Today at church was almost all Christmas songs backed up by an orchestra. I enjoy this part of the season as much as any of it. The church songs are deep in theology, explaining the story of God in Jesus Christ. Being a pretty simple guy, I enjoy the most simple of things, even the music.

While I enjoy classical Christian songs, they don’t touch my heart like a simpler song, “The Little Drummer Boy.” My Christmas isn’t complete until I’ve heard that simple song. My favorite is version is by Bob Seger.

I’ve heard that song my whole life. When I was younger I didn’t especially care for it. I listened to the words without hearing them. About five years ago, after listening to that song my whole life, I finally “heard” the words to that song.

Although knowing the words in my brain, they couldn’t make their way through the thick denseness down into my heart. When they finally did, that’s when I learned to love that song.

Not that the song was a true story, but the idea of God showing His approval to his children finally got traction in my heart.

The idea that like that little drummer boy we have nothing to offer God. We only have to give Him what He’s given us first. Like the Psalmist understood, (paraphrase) “What is it that I can give to you God”?  “All things come from your hand.”

I have nothing– I am nothing– All I am is because of God’s gift to me. The ultimate Christmas present–The only perfect sacrifice to cover our sins permanently. His son Jesus Christ, whom He allowed to suffer on our behalf so that He would be able to look upon us, even with our sin and offer this perfect gift. The gift of eternal life.

As if that weren’t enough, He also gave each and every one of us something else… Another gift. The things we do. The things we have a talent or passion for. I have a drum set. I even have a guitar. I have no illusions, that gift He gave the little drummer boy he didn’t give me.

I bring a whole new meaning to “making a joyful noise unto the Lord.” I’m sure most people have several gifts, things they excel at beyond what is average. I’ve known many people who God’s gifted in many ways.

For those of us that belong to God understand these gifts aren’t ours, they belong to God. When we use them to bring Him honor we find peace and joy beyond our flesh. We live in a spiritual peace that surpasses human comprehension.

Since the gifts we have are actually intellectual property of the Creator of the cosmos, they are given with a responsibility.We have a duty to use them in such a way that shows the greatness of the One who provided them.

The last verse of that song is what I finally heard after a lifetime of listening to it. “Then He smiled at me pa rum pum pum pum, me and my drum.”

The God of all creation smiling as we use the gifts He blessed us with. What could be better in life that God smiling at us?

This is one of the gifts He’s given me, may I honor Him with it. May He smile on me and my family as we try to bring Him honor with what belongs to Him.

This Christmas may we all use whatever gifts He’s blessed us with.

May we bring a smile to His Holy Face…