Summary: Number 3 in a series looking at the imagery in the modern Hymn These are the days of Elijah, looking at the year of Jubilee and its implications both social and spiritual.
In a recent Peanuts cartoon, Lucy approaches Charlie Brown with a paper and pen and says, “Here, sign this. It absolves me from all blame”. Then she goes to Shroeder with the same paper and says, “Here, sign this. It absolves me from all blame”. Finally she comes to Linus: “Here, sign this. It absolves me from all blame”. As she walks away Linus says, “Gee, that must be a nice document to have”. And that’s really what we’re looking at this morning / evening.
We have been looking at the song, “These are the days of Elijah.” We have seem how Elijah declared the word of the Lord not only when it was hard to hear but also when it was hard to preach. We need to declare the word of the Lord, faithfully according to the Bible. Then we looked at John the Baptist who was a voice in the desert crying prepare ye the way of the Lord. And found that the way to prepare for the coming of the Lord in our lives was through repentance and the way to prepare the way in others lives was to preach repentance. This morning / evening, it is time to turn to one of those phrases in the song that many people will not have heard of, ‘The year of Jubilee’.
The year of Jubilee
We have read from Leviticus where the details for the year of jubilee were laid down. Basically, it could be described as a whole year of party. No work was to be done in the fields, slaves were freed, debts cleared and property returned to its original owners. It was the great equaliser. It almost turned the economic status into an episode of Star Trek. Why an episode of Star Trek? Well before we got to some of the later Star Treks, the one thing Star Trek was famous for was its famous reset button. No matter how bad the situation was, no matter how grim the problem was or how much of an advantage the enemy had you knew that by the start of the episode everything would be back to the same way it had begun. Kirk might have a new love interest every week, but come next week she would be forgotten never to return. The Enterprise might be damaged beyond all recognition but come next week, it would be back to its straight out of the ship yards perfection. The characters might be at each others throats, fighting over some really substantial issue, but come next week they would be best of friends again. The famous reset button. Everything returns to the way it was.
Or for those of you who don’t watch Star Trek, we could also liken it to games. When ITV first launched their digital service ITV 2 they had a programme called the race on. The idea was that there were 4 teams of two who were each given £100 and they had to race round the world having 3 days to get to the next place. Every week they got an extra £20 while the winners got an extra £100. Half way round they go to Australia and one of the team managed to not only save their money by finding a businessman with an executive jet that offered to fly them where they were going he also gave them so extra cash. However, it wasn’t that good for them as at the end of the stage all the money was gathered in and they were all given another £100. Levelling the playing field, giving everyone a fair chance.