FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
HOLINESS AND THE JUBILEE YEAR
August 5, 2017
Today’s reading: Leviticus 25:1-17
The Jubilee Year was a very important year for the Israelites, because God deemed it so, and gave them instructions on how to celebrate it. It was part of the call to holiness for God’s people. “You shall treat this fiftieth year as sacred.” (v.10a). The Jubilee Year had three essential elements.
First, liberty from bondage. “You shall proclaim liberty in the land for all its inhabitants.”(v.10b). Second, return to property. “It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to your own property, each of you to your own family.” (v.10c). Third, rest for the land. “This fiftieth year is your year of jubilee; you shall not sow, nor shall you reap the aftergrowth or pick the untrimmed vines” (v.11). What does this all mean?
The Jubilee Year is about freeing the captives–from poverty and oppression. It is a roadmap for peace and social equity in society, the nation and the world. It is about personal, societal, economic, political and ecological freedom. It is the formula for building the Church of the Poor.
Today there is much talk of social justice. But in the western world it is being very much focused on issues such as immigration and climate change. While these are of course very important, these are often being pushed at the expense of the culture of life. It has become social justice from the human rather than divine mindset.
Today there is much discussion and conflict about economic and political systems, with socialism on the left and capitalism on the right. Which is best? In putting forth their respective agendas, proponents are tearing nations apart, causing civil strife and even war. But God already gave us the best system. It comes with an understanding of the Jubilee Year.
It is time to recover or even understand for the first time the meaning of the Jubilee Year. Only then can God’s people act in ways that are truly Christian, while at the same time doing what is best for the world that we seek to evangelize.
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Assignment: Read my books “Bringing Glad Tidings to the Poor” and “Freeing the Captives.”