17th March 2019

Turn Your ’Phone to ‘Jubilee’ Mode! 

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”
Luke 4:18-19 (NIV UK) 

Rest is the most neglected spiritual discipline in our day and age. Everywhere there is input—from the internet, television and radio—all day! As a people, we’ve forgotten how to rest. Having a mobile phone means that I am available 24/7. It allows me to be incredibly productive, but, if not handled carefully, it’s a taskmaster robbing me of peace and rest. These days I switch it off in the evening, and on again when I get to the office.

Jesus read the words (above) which are all about rest. Jesus’ conclusion is shocking: “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!” (verse 21). The Year of the Lord’s Favour refers to the Jewish tradition of the Jubilee year. This was to be observed every 50th year, with the formula that it was every “seven times seven years.” This time marked liberation. Indentured servants were to be freed, leased land was to return to its original owners, and the fields were to lie fallow. People were to live off the stores they had, and the fruits that grew naturally in the land. Sharing and togetherness, as well as rest and relationship, were the themes of the day. To rest in that time meant to trust that what they had stored and what the land provided would be enough for them. In short, it was an act of faith.

And so why does Jesus refer to this practice on this particular day in a synagogue in a small town? As with all Israelite practices, these things all pointed in a certain direction. They were signposts and symbols of YHWH’s deliverance that was going to come. These were a people in waiting. Jesus’ conclusion, which caused a hush to go through the crowd, was that the year of Jubilee was here, being “fulfilled” in him.

God’s rest is here, freedom and redemption will be completed in the work of Christ. Let us live, then, as God’s resting people, in a permanent year of Jubilee. Christ came to proclaim our liberation. As slaves, we’re liberated into the Jubilee from the cruellest master ever—ourselves. The year of Jubilee has been proclaimed, and we live now in simple trust and rest as we wait his return.

Prayer
Gracious Father, our modern age is one of busyness. It dominates our attention. Thank you that you have given us rest and peace, time when we are encouraged to be in your presence, through prayer, in weekly services, in quiet meditation. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Presented by Greg Williams

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About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Contact:
Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

 

 

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