On Tuesdays during Advent we’ve been sharing the story of the Little Drummer Boy, through both the film version and the carol that inspired it. And now as we celebrate the Christmas season, it’s a good time to think about what it means for us going forward into a new year… and the rest of our lives.
In the film version of the story, the boy’s heart, his fears and bitter memories, his hatred and loneliness melted as he looked upon the newborn King. And us? We’ve amassed more than our own share of fears, of bitter memories, of loneliness and perhaps even of hatred during this difficult year, haven't we? We don’t understand why so many terrible things have happened.
But…. listen to the Wise Man’s counsel: “It is not necessary to understand. Go to him. Look upon the newborn King.”
Go to him. Look upon the newborn King.
This is a good time to do just that. To gaze at the Child. To take a deep breath, and release all those negative, painful feelings and memories. To let them melt before the face of the newborn King.
That Child knows we are hurting. He knows we’ve lost so much, we grieve so much, we worry so much. He knows. And he loves us with his whole heart. Gaze on him, and imagine him binding your wounds, wiping away your tears, encouraging your heart.
That is the promise of Christmas. Not that we will never experience pain, but that we need never experience it alone. The Child we greet is God-walking-with-us, God coming to live among us, God never abandoning us.
The mystery of the Incarnation is the mystery of God meeting us right where we are, with all our imperfections and pain, and walking beside us through everything. Imagine the love he has for us! He loves us enough to live with us. He loves us enough to live in us.
Perhaps we can think of this Christmas season as a reset of sorts, as we turn the page from one calendar year to another, as we look forward to the future with the sure knowledge that whatever it may bring, whatever we face, we are not alone. Go to him. Look upon the newborn King.
Jesus is our hope, our joy, our present, and our future. We don’t need to be afraid, because he loves us with a love so immense, our hearts just melt in its presence. Love calls to love, and our response is to live in hope, to love that Child—and all the humanity that he loves. That is what is important in this Christmas season, in this new year, in all our tomorrows. “All shall be well,” says the mystic Julian of Norwich.
Yes. All shall be well. With the little drummer boy, with us, with the world. And so with love and hope in our hearts… let us go forth.
by Jeannette de Beauvoir