Jubilee! (Old Testament style)

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S (Scripture): Leviticus 25:8 Count off seven weeks of years—that is, seven times seven—so that the seven weeks of years totals forty-nine years. 9 Then have the trumpet blown on the tenth day of the seventh month. Have the trumpet blown throughout your land on the Day of Reconciliation. 10 You will make the fiftieth year holy, proclaiming freedom throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It will be a Jubilee year for you: each of you must return to your family property and to your extended family. 11 The fiftieth year will be a Jubilee year for you. Do not plant, do not harvest the secondary growth, and do not gather from the freely growing vines 12 because it is a Jubilee: it will be holy to you. You can eat only the produce directly out of the field. 13 Each of you must return to your family property in this year of Jubilee.

O (Observation): God’s people are still receiving instruction on what it means to be God’s people. What does it look like to live and work together. Surely, over time, folks working together would need to lean on one another for certain communal work, and some would be sick or in really challenging circumstances and would need to be in debt to another for at least a time.

The establishment of a Jubilee year was God’s way of bringing folks back (every “7 weeks of 7 years”) to the original setup God has established for God’s people.

God’s people would be re-established according to what God gave them, not according to their actions or successes or failures. That is grace!

A (Application): We are still working our way out of my student loan debt. Have a sizable chunk to go. We had a mountain of credit card debt, too, but thanks to a consumer credit company (a good one) who coached us through the difficult choices we had to make to get out of credit card debt. It worked! We made fairly steady income, but we had to really focus on our spending.

I hate being in debt. I can’t stand it. I know that sometimes we feel there is no other way…but to get back into debt for a car or eating out, etc. That is a challenge for me now.

We have come to accept debt as a way of life. Sometimes we choose debt. Sometimes – due to health care needs or challenges around us – we are brought into this by no means of our own.

How do we have compassion and work with those in challenging circumstances? Do we say “Sorry! You gotta handle this.” And when we say that, the sick person goes without treatment, the poor go without food, the imprisoned go without visits.

Is the Jubilee concept a thing? Can it be? Perhaps in your own life, you have sought forgiveness…help…assistance. Have you become indebted to someone? How does that feel? Have you named the difficulties and started moving towards reconciliation? Has grace been experienced in that interaction?

Well, with corporate America the almighty dollar rules. Very little forgiveness of debt. Almost no assistance to avoid debt to begin with.

What would a great Jubilee look like? What would a Jubilee look like just in your own circles? What would a Jubilee look like where you are the one giving the grace? What would it look like if you received the grace?

P (Prayer): Lord, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And.

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