Year of Jubilee?
“Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.”- Leviticus 25:10
One of the most important questions to be asking ourselves and others is this: Where does your JOY come from? As we are seven months into this pandemic and just two weeks away from the election, there is a need to properly identify the source of joy and continually draw from it, even as the things of the world try to drain us of it!
Joy is an especially important ingredient amid a season filled with so many TRANSITIONS. After seven months we have gone from online only Sunday services to now meeting in-person (woohoo); we have dealt with several weeks of extremely warm weather to now moving into the fall; we are heading into the holiday season, which in itself is meant to be marked by joy. Even Joanie and I are having a transition next month as we celebrate our birthdays. For Joanie, she will be completing her 49th year, which is known in the Bible as the YEAR OF JUBILEE, while I will be entering into it.
The Year of Jubilee is marked as the fiftieth year or the seventh Sabbath year (7x7). It is a year that is to be marked by LIBERTY. In this Jubilee Year, all debt was to be cancelled and all servants/slaves were to be released. Joanie and I have always been aware what this special year represents, so we approached it with a joyful heart and hopeful expectation. However, 2020 has not been the easiest year for any of us. As pastors, it has been difficult not being able to gather and do faith in-person for most of the year. As parents, we too are juggling homelife with church work and three kids doing school remotely. And to make things even harder, Joanie’s precious dog died earlier this month after a quick and unexpected bout of cancer. Joanie’s Year of Jubilee has not looked super joyful or gone to as we would have desired.
When life is tough, taking us on an unexpected journey with interruptions along the way, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus to find our joy. We need Jesus to help us for what we cannot see and for what we cannot carry on our own. If you are struggling to find joy during your journey, your hardship, your daily challenges, may I suggest you start by reading JOHN 14-16. These may be three of the most important chapters in all the Bible, as Jesus takes a lengthy time in preparing His friends for the fact that He will be leaving them soon. In each of these chapters Jesus addresses the coming hardship by encouraging them about the Holy Spirit, about asking in prayer, and about receiving an irreplaceable, matchless, and unending joy! In John 16:24 Jesus says, “Until now you have not asked for anything in My name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
The answer to the joy question and equation is by coming to Jesus with each burden, decision, responsibility, and need. Allow Him to lift your weights, break your chains, direct your paths, and fill your hearts with joy!