Today as we remember the martyred saint Martin Luther King, Jr. and his call to our country to live out God’s justice, we look back to Moses, who in Leviticus 25: 1-24 shares God’s instructions for Jubilee, including:
You shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants – it shall be a jubilee for you.
Pastor Goede’s sermon yesterday took this Biblical concept of Jubilee and looks at it as a way forward for us, a loving response and call to reset in response to injustice:
This is why God mandates jubilee – because God knew that without it, injustices would never be addressed and society, Israelite or American, would never be reset, that justice would never prevail. Without the restraint of divine law, without any sense that there is authority beyond the individual, injustice grows and evil can overwhelm us. That is what we saw in the Capital takeover last week, thousands of poeple saying ‘nobody tells me what to do.”
Jubilee is a very helpful concept in addressing the mess that government is in right now. Jubilee is radical, but so are a large chunk of Americans who have been drawn to fascism over the last four years. Concepts like reparations for slavery, reparations for invading and occupying the land that bcame the United States, those are radical concepts. But jubilee is a radical reset and most importantly, it is a loving one. It isn’t meant to destroy those on the top, but rather to give them a way out of the tangle of overwhelming injustice that we face in our country.
As we begin to understand the continuing legacy of colonization, slavery and white supremacy that we’re surprised to find has never ended, and as we begin to understand the enormity of that tangled history, it can easily make us feel hopeless, or apathetic, or defiant. The best way forward is to do justice and put that concept of jubilee as God’s vision of justice to work. God’s loving instruction to us to hit the reset button and save ourselves.