Home arrow Articles arrow ECONOMIC JUSTICE IN THE LAW OF MOSES arrow HOW ABOUT A JUBILEE CHURCH?
Home
Articles
Bible Studies
HOW ABOUT A JUBILEE CHURCH? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Jordal   
Wednesday, 08 October 2014

HOW ABOUT A JUBILEE CHURCH?

By Jim Jordal

Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you.

                                                                                                 Leviticus 25:9-10a WEB

Jubilee is much more than a name signifying a period of human joy and rejoicing. In the biblical sense, it’s a one year period to be observed every 50 years in which slaves were freed, lands lost to indebtedness returned to original owners, and fields untended as a respite for man, land, and beast. In its entirety it’s nothing less than God’s plan for a rejuvenated earth and a restored and delivered humanity during the millennial Kingdom of God on Earth. This message of deliverance amid justice is reiterated numerous times in Scripture, and was the subject of Christ’s first sermon reported in Luke 4.  Elements of Jubilee have crept into Western law over the centuries, but not yet has it been implanted in its fullness for life on earth. Should this be fully completed it would institute a realm of peace and prosperity such as the world has not yet known.

 A Jubilee church would operate according to the principles of biblical Jubilee as found in Leviticus 25 and Deuteronomy 15. It would comprehend the meaning of these principles and would apply them to the lives of their parishioners and the life of their community. They would attempt as much as possible to “live” the gospel of Jesus, using his Spirit-anointed life and ministry as their example.

The time is here! As the secular world order breaks down into chaos and dispute, it’s time for Christians and especially their religious institutions to realize that “business as usual” will not accomplish what the people want and desperately need. People need reality rather than illusion; truth rather than falsehood; love rather than pretentiousness; and justice rather than meaningless rules.

The principles of Jubilee are nothing less than the operating structure for Christ’s rule in the millennial kingdom of God on Earth. Applied with a combination of love and firmness they would conquer or greatly reduce poverty, homelessness, financial oppression, pollution and destruction of the earth, and the present destructive corporate power structure that elevates itself over the needs of the people.

Does this sound utopian? Perhaps that’s because it is! But God has big plans for his people and his earth, even if we see it only darkly. The freedoms and benefits of Christ’s rule can be seen throughout Scripture, but they must be experienced to be fully believed.

Isaiah put it this way: “When your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness,” (Isa. 26:9b). God’s judgments are his laws applied to the human situation by wise rulers, administrators, and courts. This new-found freedom and wide-spread justice would greatly facilitate the public in learning the ways of God. No, it doesn’t happen overnight; rather it’s a time period that might cover many years for all the benefits of God’s law to be fully achieved. The point is that God’s will would happen on “earth as it is in heaven,” as we pray every Sunday.

The result of Jubilee applied to human governance would be everlasting joy and almost inexpressible peace and well-being. As Isaiah says again, “For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Isa. 55:12, NKJV). The mountains and the hills breaking forth into singing and the trees of the fields clapping their hands are scriptural metaphors for nations and peoples rising up into attitudes of endless praise and heartfelt joy at what is finally understood to be the dawning of the millennial kingdom of God on Earth.

And we could have a down payment of these blessings right now in our places of worship should we choose to incorporate some principles of Jubilee into our worship services and church strategies.