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Year of Jubilee

by on April 25, 2014

In 1985 Teresa and I had the remarkable experience of being at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur. The day culminated in the blowing of the Ram’s Horn to signify the completion of this Holy Day.

Every 50 years in Israel’s history there was to be a very special Yom Kippur. In Leviticus 25:8-13 Israel was given the commands for celebrating the Year of Jubilee on this day. The Hebrew ‘Yovel’ was translated into Latin and comes out in English as Jubilee. The original Hebrew was related to the Ram’s Horn which was blown to announce this special year for Israel. It took place on the annual Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year. One of the key features of this regulation was the return of lands back to original owners and anyone in slavery was returned to their families. While the second part doesn’t seem difficult to accept the idea of sold land having to be returned might seem a bit radical for our taste in the modern world.

However, the whole point of this regulations was a serious reminder to Israel that God was their king, the land belonged to Him and they were His tenants having the special privilege of taking care of what belonged to God. Therefore it is perfectly natural to return it to the original owners because it was really not theirs anyway. It belonged the one who called them as His special covenant people. It was truly a time for jubilation and celebration as they were reminded of their special privilege and relationship to the one true God.

This was a year of special joy and celebration, of jubilation!

Today, when we celebrate a 5oth Anniversary it is known as the Jubilee year, and so it is that this year for Berean is the Year of Jubilee. Since we are not bound by the Mosaic Law we don’t have to give our land back to the original owners thankfully but maybe it is a good time to remember why we are here. This work does not just belong to us, the ministry of the Berean Bible Church is God’s work, it belongs to Him and Him alone.

In sense we do have the opportunity to give back this work as we can once again recommit ourselves to the vision of our founders. This church was built to have a place where the Lord could be glorified, where individuals could hear a plan presentation of the gospel, where believers could be taught the word and grown in their walk with the Lord. It was to be a place where the next generation would have the benefit of wonderful facilities and leaders to help them mature and someday take over the responsibilities of leading. Here we are 50 years later and we still are sharing a work that is God’s work. Indeed, we do give back to Him all He has placed in our hands.

This is a Year of Jubilee.

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