Aaron followed me into the dining room the other day. I wasn’t paying attention to him behind me as I worked on our Christmas village.
“Mom, look!” Aaron said.
I turned to see him staring intently at our little tree that is full of my Grandma Holly’s handmade ornaments, made with love so many years ago. This was a pre-lit tree, but as so often happens, those bulbs had long since burned out. I had replaced them with another strand of lights but left the unlit lights on the tree – hidden, so I thought, by the new lights.
“This light bulb doesn’t work!” Aaron exclaimed. And as his eyes roamed over the tree branches, he pointed out other broken small bulbs.
“Here’s another one!” he said. “And here…and here…and here,” he continued as he pointed to each one.
Aaron had gotten close enough to see the broken, while standing farther away, I could only see the soft lights of that new strand that worked.
I am studying through the book of Numbers. Now that book doesn’t exactly stir excitement in one’s blood, but I have learned that in Bible books we usually consider to be dull there are amazing truths from God…golden nuggets that shine brightly!
The setting of Numbers is the wilderness of Sinai where Israel wandered for 40 years on their way to the promised land. They should have gotten to the promised land much sooner than 40 years, but because of their sin God made them travel for 40 long years.
They were a broken nation full of broken families. Broken by sin…by their willful turning from God.
But look at the VERY first verse:
“Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai in the tent of meeting…”
God did NOT give up! God spoke to His people through Moses. Again and again, God reached down to those stubborn people and spoke.
“Now when Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Him, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the mercy seat that was on the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubim, so He spoke to him.” (Numbers 7:89)
“Moses had so much to talk to God about and, as the long journey progressed, each new day brought its fresh load of pastoral concerns, unreasonable complaints, arrogant accusations. Yet, desperate as he was to talk about his problems, Moses was overwhelmed with a priority greater than speaking. The Tent of Meeting became the place of attentive listening. Moses heard the voice…And He spoke with him.” (Raymond Brown, The Message of Numbers)
The place where God spoke was the mercy seat, the place of forgiveness of sin. Sin blocks our communication with God, but at the place of forgiveness we are once again receptive to the voice of God.
Oh, how broken we are today!
A broken nation…broken families…broken people.
No election, no Supreme Court, no political party can ever fix this mess we are in at this point in history.
Sin, national and personal, has blocked our ability to hear God speak.
But at this time of year, this Christmas season, we see hope for each of us.
Hope came in the form of a baby…God’s only Son…given to this old dark world to be the Light of the world!
“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
The word “dwelt” means to pitch a tent. God sent Jesus to live among the people…to pitch His tent much as the tent in the wilderness.
This is how much God loves us and how much He wants to fix our broken. We meet Him at the place of forgiveness where we confess our sin and trust His Son to be our Savior.
Like Aaron, when we look closely we see all the brokenness of this world. We see lights that don’t work.
But when we allow Jesus to forgive and to redeem, we step back and see that He is indeed the light of the world.
THIS is the message of Christmas!
Jesus is our only hope today.
He alone can fix our broken mess. Please come to know Him today and listen to His voice in the place of forgiveness.