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  • Rev. Michelle Vernone

Jubilee Year

Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you. Leviticus 25: 10a


In Leviticus, we learn about something called the Jubilee Year, which was designated every 50 years. During this year, the Israelites were

supposed to release people from their debts,

release their slaves, and return property. It was a year dedicated to rest – no reaping or sowing. And, it was a year to return to one’s family, family land – to focus on family and loved ones. The Year of Jubilee is not currently celebrated for many

reasons that have to do with the context of God issuing the instruction and the restoration of the 12 tribes of Israel. However, when I pray for this upcoming year, begin to set my personal

intentions, and ask God for instruction on his heart for our community, I keep coming back to Jubilee.


I will turn 50 this year. So, as I pray about what God desires of me and for me this year, the

principles and purposes of a Jubilee Year seem…right. It seems like a beautiful way to celebrate and to do a hard reset for this next season of my life. I want to invite you to share it with me, to live into it with me.


So, first things first. Let’s begin celebrating

Jubilee this month by starting with this- we release people from their debts to us. We forgive.

We forgive the wrongs that have been done to us. We forgive financial debts. We forgive favors owed to us. We let go of grievances. We let go of

grudges. We free people from the weight of our expectations.


Forgiveness is hard. Old wounds, new wounds, criticism and judgement, being ignored,

unappreciated, being mistreated, injured,

deceived, betrayed – it can wear us down. It is tempting to harden our hearts instead of

remaining tender hearted for those who have wronged us. Bitterness can take root and lead us down a dangerous path.


A year of Jubilee, where we forgive debts, doesn’t mean we pretend we weren’t hurt/mistreated. It means we free others, and frankly, ourselves, from the weight of anger, brokenness, sadness, and hopelessness that comes from UN-forgiveness. We give and receive the gift of a clean slate. We celebrate the best in each other instead of staying focused on the worst of each other. We declare with joy that people are more than the worst thing they’ve ever done – that WE are more than the mistakes we’ve made.


I pray we ring in the New Year with joy. I pray that the good news of Jesus Christ saturates our hearts and minds. I pray that this year, we are

intentional to honor all the ways we have been blessed by God by blessing God and others; that we live into our own Year of Jubilee,


Much love and many blessings,

Pastor Michelle


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