Leviticus 25 declares the concept of the Biblical Year of Jubilee as:
–- that time when freedom reigns because lands and possessions are reverted back to their previous owner
— that time occurring every 50 years when captives are set free
— that time when land was allowed to lie fallow (or basically, untended), that it might actually become more fruitful
What an appropriate portrait as this week, our church, OCF, celebrates 50 years of ministry.
It is also appropriate that we venture into Acts 29, as we are liberated to continue the exaltation of Christ among our families, our peers, and the whole earth.
As we look at what God did for the people and the land of Israel at the time of Jubilee, it should cause great excitement to come upon each of us. Pretty much everything God did for Israel then, He has available for us today (except for the issue of the possession of land which applied only to that people in that place). I get excited when I realize that God still chooses to restore that which has been taken, to set the captives free, and to release the oppressed. And in a very large and real way, God has handed this over as the mission of the church. Now, it us up to us to recognize that we are that Church, the living presence of God in the earth declaring that restoration and freedom.
God is calling us to rise up and be the Church.
So what are our “take-aways” from this weekend’s message?
- Make restitution for things stolen, taken, or lost.
- Deal fairly with every person –even for past events.
- Forgive offensestaken against us.
- Invite God to bring Jubilee to you and to your family.
- Be a funnel of Jubilee to your community… to your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, the lost, the addicted, the destitute…bringing restoration and freedom, expanding His Kingdom
On a much more personal note:
I had the privilege of ministering together with my son this past weekend at the Jubilee Festival at our church, OCF. That is always a joy for me – to see someone I taught music to – to play and to sing – and then to see that he has far exceeded my gifts—what a thrill. Jamie, I am proud of you, son. And I am glad you are sensing your role in His Church.
And my middle child, Amber, started her new job as a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner with Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. She is genuinely a servant of God and I love seeing her do what she loves —ministering to those premature babies and their parents. What a thrill. And I am glad you are sensing your role in His Church.
And finally, my oldest, Crystal, is in the country of South Africa this month – a place that she considers her second home. This is the land where she interned as a missionary. Although she is currently there on a hiring venture, her missionary heart for these people groups still rings true. Again, What a thrill. And I am glad you are sensing your role in His Church.
And as far as the world around us spins, this week has been a relatively quiet world – especially in light of the events of the week prior. I think we all needed a little bit of time to think and contemplate our place in our often-violent habitation. I am so thankful that it is not me who is in control – but God who is in control – and while I do not understand what all is taking place, I continue to trust God in and through it all. And in the midst of that, I am glad that He still chooses us, His people, the Church, to carry on as His Ambassadors to bring His liberty to this earth and to enlarge His Kingdom.