Just now I was convicted while studying the account of Jesus’ birth in the gospel of Luke. I was reading about the shepherds and how they were startled by the grand arrival of the army of angelic messengers high above them, singing praises to God. And I thought,
We make this Christian stuff so complicated.
In 1 Corinthians 2:2 Paul says that he “…I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” What?! Nowadays we seem to think that someone needs to graduate from seminary just to know what the Bible is talking about, not to mention what you must know in order to evangelize. You’ve got to have all of your own ducks in a row before telling others about the Truth.
But God’s Word was fashioned for the poor, uneducated masses. It was made for the kind of person who responds to the Message with simplicity and heartfelt belief. I am constantly hearing stories about evangelism in foreign countries where people are amazingly receptive to the gospel, drinking it up like literal living water. In America we don’t even have “time” for Christ. Those shepherds in the field didn’t say, “My experience tells me that angels don’t just pop out of nowhere every day, so that must have been a hallucination. Let’s go down into Bethlehem and see if what we heard is really true.” No, they said, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
It is so easy to lose, or never gain, the simplicity of a child when it comes to religion. I for one am an information-junkie, and I’d love to know everything about the spirit-realm, salvation, the end-times, sanctification, etc. that is possible to learn. However, I just now decided that it would be so much better, so much more Christlike, to spend at least 90% of my time studying, thinking about, and learning by heart the story of Jesus Christ and him crucified, and about 10% on everything else.
What really matters, after all? If we aren’t focused on the baby in the manger, the God-man on the cross, and the repercussions of those events, we are running down rabbit trails.