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Little Drummer Boy is my favourite Christmas carol. It reminds me of the grace of God. It reminds me that what I have is special enough for him, I don’t need to be like everyone else, I just need to be me and bring before God, and others, what he has given me.

In the carol, the little drummer boy sees Jesus laying in the manger and he immediately wants to bring him a gift, but because he is poor, he cannot bring what everyone else does, no gold, no frankincense, no myrrh, however it does not stop him bringing what he has. So, he offers to play his drum for Jesus, this he can do. As the carol goes, he starts to play his drum and when he starts to play, Jesus smiles at him. To just play what he has been given, to just be who he is, this is enough.

Now I know this is just a nice story but the truth of it rings home for me at the end of this most strange of years. Today I want to encourage you, who you are is good enough. God has made you just the way he wanted to, and I believe that you don’t have to be more, bring more, sing more, say more or do more. This year – this is what I have seen to be the thing we have missed most and has got us through so well. You. You just have to bring what God has given you and play it with all your might. You are made special in God’s image and this is enough.

Today is about celebrating who we are and what we have achieved this year. Students, I am so proud of you. You have done so well. As teachers, and I am sure the parents would agree, going through the journey with you this year and watching you grow and mature, yes I said mature, has been a privilege.

We are blessed because of you. As you share your stories with us, we are blessed. As we walk around the school and get air high fives we are blessed. As we stop and chat, whether it is about footy (I can’t believe NSW lost!), or being schooled in Minecraft or Rocket League, working way too many hours in that part time job, that fish that got away, nervous dance recitals or new puppies, sometimes even sharing those tough ones that we don’t want to talk about. We are blessed. As we work with you in classrooms and see you struggling and thriving, nervously attempting answers or just getting the courage to begin, we are blessed. Thank you for working so hard this year and bringing to this school who you are, it is enough and certainly makes us smile.

When I see how much this staff loves this community of students and their families, I know we are blessed. Their dedication to know, value and nurture each and every one of you is second to none. The way you have continued to desire to improve and change in such uncertain and unprecedented times to bring authentic, valuable and unique learning experiences: we are blessed. You make us smile!

To partner with such dedicated and inspired parents: we are blessed. That your parents would teach you from home. We are blessed. Listening to the stories of parents who would teach from 8 until 3 and then work until 11 and then do it all again – what a blessing. That they would continue to stay in their cars and wait patiently, day after day: we are blessed. That you, our parents, continue to smile each morning as you see your children become the people they were made to be, the hope and the joy, the service and the sacrifice: Thank you to our parents who certainly make us smile

On the last Monday of each month, and every Wednesday, be it by zoom or in person a group of 5 very special people meet together and preside over the direction and vision of the school. Mr Hannaford, Mrs Strahan, Mr Edwards, Mrs McErlane and Mrs McCarthy, give up this time because they love the school and value what it brings to the community. They vision, pray, toil and make some very big decisions; for the Board’s contribution to the school this year, we are blessed. Thank you.

By not being allowed to have our community come into our gates this year we have missed the daily recognition and celebration of the importance of each individual that goes to making up our community. It feels like this year much has been taken away from us.

I am so proud though of the hard things we have done in spite of the difficult time. We have done so well to still produce wonderful learning experiences, learn well and complete assessments. However, if I have been taught one thing this year, it has been that though these things are important, this is not what is most important. What is most important is the flavour we bring to those we share life with.

The little drummer boy was blessed when he shared who he was and what he loved with others.

In the Bible in Matthew 5, Jesus encourages those around him to be salt to those around them. A funny metaphor, right? When we use salt though what we are doing is bringing out the flavour in the food and making it taste amazing. Like chicken salt – right? What are chips without chicken salt!

Jesus is actually challenging us to be God’s chicken salt to the chips around us! HE wants us, by being who he has made us to be and reflecting who He is, to bring God’s flavour to our world. To bring his love, grace, forgiveness, understanding and peace to others to help them bring out their flavour too.

In times like these it can be hard, but if we can just do what the little drummer boy did and faithfully and courageously be who God made us to be we begin to bless others more than we can imagine.

Over this Christmas, I challenge you to play your drum for others. What God has given you, your gifts and talents, let them out a little more. What is the one thing that one thing that you know you like to do, that makes you? Please, be willing to share it. Be willing to risk it and play for someone. When we do this, people smile, and we are blessed, and community happens well. I know, I have had the privilege to see it this year, and I have been blessed.

Good tidings!


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