Jubilee (Part 2)
In our prior lesson, we began studying Jubilee, particularly focusing on its past. We noted that Jubilee came to be used as a synonym for the sounding of a trumpet. After seven cycles of Sabbath-year rests, the fiftieth year would come and Israel was not allowed to sow or reap the entire year. It was a year of rest, reflection, and trusting in God--focusing on the simple things of life. Beyond letting the ground lie fallow, there were two other details for the fiftieth year that had to be obeyed:

So, to sum it up, there were three distinct factors constituting the essential features of the Jubilee year: personal liberty, restitution of property, and what we might call "the simple life" (which would be a consequence of the prohibition against sowing & reaping in their society).

The congregation of the Lord's people for which I serve, celebrated our fiftieth anniversary in Clinton back in 2008. Although the church of Christ dates back to the first century, our presence is, of course, not nearly that old here in this small, Midwestern town.

But, rather than counting the number of years a congregation has had its doors open, let me encourage you to think of Jubilee in the present as something to be celebrated daily. Today, the word "jubilee" means jubilation or rejoicing. The New Testament of Christ commands us to rejoice:

Our lives should be characterized by jubilee (rejoicing). You may not always be happy, but you should always be joyful! You see, happiness (root word: hap) indicates something that is based upon chance or circumstances. Joy is much deeper than that. Happiness is a temporary feeling that results from pleasant physical circumstances. Joy is independent of such. Joy is a positive attitude of contentment that results from understanding and remembering the fundamental spiritual truth: namely, that God loves us!

To rejoice in difficult times requires absolute trust in God (as celebrating the Jubilee year required for the Hebrews). To trust God as His faithful children and rejoice in Him is very liberating. It frees us from bondage to sin, fear, and even death! The year of Jubilee was the time for freeing slaves, and friends, everyday should be a day of freedom for Christians! Recall what Paul wrote in Romans 8:1,2 - "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death."

Additionally, followers of Christ should be living a simple life. It should be a pure, holy, and joyful life--even when we're surrounded by a sea of turmoil and temptation. Let us not get distracted by the cares of this life and allow them to choke out what's really important (cf. Matt. 13:22).

We will conclude this study in our next lesson.