All the Love We Can

2 Corinthians 8:8-15

As we near the end of July, some radio stations are getting their Christmas playlists ready to hit the airwaves. They seem to start playing these earlier every year. As much as I get annoyed by Christmas music played before I start feeling festive, there is one song I never tire of hearing. I stop whatever I’m doing to listen to Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s version of “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” every time it comes on. For me the odd pairing of a traditional crooner with an edgy rock star adds to the recording’s appeal.

The anxiety expressed by the drummer boy within the original 1941 lyrics (minus the pa-rum pum pum pums) mirror our own sense of inadequacy: “Little baby, I am a poor boy too. I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give our King.” Certainly, we think, nothing we have or give is worthy of God.

But that’s not what the Apostle Paul tells us. Rather, he says, For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have (v. 12). What a beautifully understated way to say what our souls need to hear. We are enough. What we have to give is enough when we give generously with eager hearts, desiring to please God instead of desiring to look good for others.

In the 1977 counterpoint lyrics written for Bowie to sing along with Crosby, we hear, “Every child must be made aware. Every child must be made to care; care enough for his fellow man, to give all the love that he can.” That’s all that God requires of us—to give all the love that we can. If we do that, the gift we offer is worthy.

Consider

When have you felt that you or your gifts were not acceptable in God’s sight? The rhythm of God’s drumbeat is trying to tell you otherwise.

Pray

God, help us to believe that what we have to give is enough, and help us give what we have eagerly and generously. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Reflections: Daily Devotional Guide volume 31.3.

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