Day 17 – Main Thing  

I was just old enough to notice that sometimes adults couldn’t get along with each other.  One Advent season, there was an argument in our local church.  Was Jesus born in a wooden stable or a stone cave?  Faction A thought the traditions of the church were being challenged.  Faction B cited recent Biblical archaeological findings.  Instead of calmly communicating, the factions began to call into question the faith of the other.  I don’t remember all the details, but I do recall a general lack of harmony in the church.  I know that some less than loving words were shared.  I know that certain persons avoided talking to other persons.  It is not a pleasant childhood memory.
Keeping the main thing, the main thing. 
 
The main thing of the Advent/ Christmas season is this:  God became a man to rescue humanity.  This infant child, this God in the flesh, this Jesus, is the promised Messiah.  He has come to bring you, me and the entire human race into an eternity altering relationship with the living God. 
 
Do you ever get bent out of shape by something that is not the “main thing?”  Do you ever allow minor issues to take center stage?  Do you ever “make stuff up” about someone who disagrees with you about these marginal worries?  I do.  And when I fail to stay centered on the main thing, I am grateful that God continues to call me back to himself.  I am blessed that he invites me to confess my sins and receive his forgiveness.  I am honored that he keeps teaching me that there is so much more to life than “being right.”  His main thing is far better than any of my egocentric concerns.
 
Stable or cave?  Wood was not readily available and natural small caves in the side of a hill are common around Bethlehem.  But, when you visit the sanctuary at Christ the King Lutheran Church you’ll see an artist’s conception of the manger scene.  It includes a wooden stable.  The main thing? The baby in the manger.
 

Is God speaking to you about keeping your eyes on the main thing?  What do you think he wants you to know?