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WHAT CAN I BRING?




When I was a teenager, I lived in Boys Town in Nebraska. It was a safe place for me, a place I could call home, I learned what a family was like and, quite honestly, it was a lifesaver. I learned so much and made fantastic friendships! I was there from the ages of 14-18, until I graduated. I even earned two full ride music scholarships from Boys Town for College.


Almost all of my housemates and community went on "home visits" for the holidays and on weekends but, since I didn't have anywhere to go, I was one of the few that stayed year-round - every day, all days. But I didn't regret it. Father Val Peter, who was the Catholic priest that ran Boys Town while I was there, made everybody feel special. He didn't forget any of our names. He knew us from a distance, and he knew all about us. There was something about his memory that enabled him to remember our faces, our names, our ages, our interests - everything about each one of us. Father Peter loved music and he would have us sing almost everywhere we went, especially around Christmastime!


I was part of "The Voices of Boys Town", the town's choir. I was a soloist for most of my High School years and my leading song on Christmas (every Christmas) was O Holy Night. I sang it in the old Union Station, now The Durham Museum, in Omaha and I sang it at company parties that The Voices would entertain for, and at other Christmas performances on and off campus.

But, as much as I love that song, the song that really meant the most to me was something we only sang a couple of times a year as a whole choir. It was called, 'What Can I Bring?' by Russ Borchardt and Stan Pethel.

It meant a lot to me because of its message. It asked the question: what could I possibly bring that would be good enough to give a King? I personally had very little in the way of possessions except for what I had there in Boys Town and, since I shared a room with another girl and since there were 6-8 of us girls per house, you can imagine that it wasn't a lot. (They actually had to take me clothes shopping within a day of arriving there because I didn't have anything to wear.)

I loved the song, What Can I Bring, because it was so relatable to me as I began to learn more about Christ. In Boys Town, I learned for the first time about the baby born in a manger and I learned, for the first time, of what God did for us - to send His only Son into the world to be born a baby and grow and lead and love and then die for us as an innocent sacrifice.

I never knew any of that before Boys Town, and I was in awe.

I longed to give something back to this amazing God and His Son Who died for me. But what did I have that I could give Him? He deserved so much! He was a King! As a new Christian, I knew that I wanted to give God an offering; I knew that I wanted to give Him something. But I didn't have anything myself.


So, what could I possibly give to the King of all Kings, the One Who died for me?


Asking myself that question and feeling that way in my heart was what made me fall in love with this song that we sang each Christmas.

I would like to share the lyrics with you because they meant, and do mean, so much to me.



Whether you have been a Christ-follower for 1 month or 70 years, join me in rededicating our hearts, our lives and all the intangible, unseen, sacred parts of us that we have to offer.


I challenge you:

Be an unapologetic, living sacrifice

to the One Who was born to die

for you and for me.



Merry Christmas,

Sarah Jane



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