Friday, February 19, 2010


" 'Count off seven sabbaths of years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbaths of years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields.

" 'In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to his own property. – Leviticus 25: 8-13

This is one of my favorite concepts in the Bible.

When I was in college I was a part of a student organization called the Pan-African Student Association. During the second semester of my sophomore year we decided that we wanted to do something that hadn’t been done before.

We were going to organize a festival.

After discussing some of the things that we would like at the festival: food, art, performances, etc… the question of the name came up.

What would we call it?

One of my good friends at the time suggested that we call it Jubilee.


We nearly laughed him out of the room. All I could think about was the X-Men character by the same name.

But he was serious. So we put it to a vote and of course Jubilee eventually lost.

But now I get it. Jubilee is a proclamation of freedom.

From the Biblical perspective it is the time where everything is restored.

The context here is that when the Jewish people reached the Promised Land, the land was given out in lots to each tribe and to each family in each tribe. This was mandated by God.

Of course some people become poor and others become rich. Some may have to sell their land or their labor in order to make ends meet. And the rich are there of course to scoop it up.

Not much has changed in several thousand years.

But God instituted this brilliant fix. Every fifty years the servants were set free and the land was restored. Each generation had a new, fresh chance at life.

I wonder what the world would be like if we lived with this principle today… How would it affect the way we view “property”… would there be such a thing as ownership of land? Would there be less poverty? More or less innovation?

There are so many interesting what ifs here.

But one thing is clear to me. God built into the original law a time where the major inequalities were set in balance. Each generation had a fighting chance at prosperity.

That’s all we can ask for.

Today’s Reading: Leviticus 25: Mark 1: 23-45

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at