Since I was a little girl, the "Little Drummer Boy" has always been my favorite Christmas carol. Maybe it was the sound of the drum or the picture on the album cover of this little face, intently keeping time on his drum. Maybe it was my own desire, or better yet His desire for me, to bring something of worth to this King of Kings.
My children have made their "Santa" lists at school; the coveted items include a gun (need I reference Ralphie and A Christmas Story?) and a baby doll. Yet, the irony that we make lists of gifts for ourselves in celebration of His birth seems to escape us. Why don't we list our gifts to bring as opposed to our gifts to receive? How have we shifted focus from Him to self? It's called worldliness, blindness to be exact. Paul writes of this to the Corinthian church: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
The god of this world, he seeks to blind us. He seeks to devour our faith, to keep us in darkness. He seeks to turn our attention, or to keep our attention, focused on self. A philosopher once wrote that atheism isn't the absence of belief in God, it is the making a god of self. Our culture encourages us to worship self, esteem self, pamper self, and justify self, and in doing so, elevates self to godhood and God to needlessness. How do you create a god of self unknowingly? Sit in the dark for a while, and your eyes will adjust to the lack of light; in fact, you might find the LIGHT to be obtrusive, a bit too harsh and penetrating. Even those who claim Jesus as Savior are not immune to usurping the role of creator. Those who claim allegiance to the God who died a cruel death on a cruel cross to crush sin and at the same time revel in the very sin that He died to conquer, have created their own Jesus. They readily claim the Jesus who heals and loves, but not the Jesus who says to Go and Sin NO More. What God are you worshiping today?
Maybe there are lessons to be learned from this drumming boy.