Tuesday 23 July 2013

Bible Book:

Leviticus 25:1-17 Tuesday 23 July 2013


The Israelites believed that the land given to them ultimatelybelonged to God. The patterns of the sabbath, of allowing the landto lie fallow every seven years, and on the fiftieth year, the holyyear, returning the land to the original holder, reminded them ofGod's centrality to all human transactions.

The radical nature of the Jubilee would have meant that therewas no permanent accrual of wealth or decline into destitution. Onthe fiftieth year, debts would be cancelled, land would be restoredand liberty would be proclaimed throughout the land.

The concept of Jubilee challenges us to let go of the personalthings which bind us and prevent us from fulfilling our God-givenpotential. Are we bound by emotional debts, our attachments togrudges and obsessions, which prevent us from embracingreconciliation and freedom?

We are also challenged on a personal economic level. What do weown and accumulate, and what are our responsibilities as aconsequence? Former Archbishop Rowan Williams issued the challenge:"For whom is my money good news?"

The passage also challenges us as a wider community. Thebiblical term of Jubilee probably became best known for us aroundthe turn of the millennium with the Jubilee 2000 campaign. The ideaof the millennium as a chance to start again was a powerful one,particularly for countries which faced being permanently sunk byunpayable debts. The current campaign, Enough Food IF,reminds us that, for many developing countries, the struggle toescape the chains of structural poverty is not over.

To Ponder

  • What things do you need to let go of in order to be fullyfree?
  • For whom is your money good news?
  • Where could you offer Jubilee to others, either as individualsor as a wider group or society, in order that they might have'liberty'?
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