Jubilee: a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity.
Synonyms: anniversary • commemoration • celebration • festival • gala • carnival • jamboree • feast day • holiday • festivities • revelry.
In Jewish history, a year of emancipation and restoration, celebrated every fifty years.
Exodus 20:11 establishes a Sabbath rest for mankind every seventh day.
Leviticus 25:1-7 teaches about a Sabbath rest for the land, every seven years.
Leviticus 25:8-13 then teaches about the Jubilee year, the year following seven Sabbath years. The Jubilee year is an incredible gift from the Lord. Verses 10-13 state:
“10Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. 11The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or “harvest the untended vines. 12For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. 13″‘In this Year of Jubilee everyone is to return to their own property.”
Can you imagine? All the family property you used to own but had to lease or sell would be returned to you!? (The people knew when they purchased property that it would be returned in this year of Jubilee, so the price was determined considering the length of time left in this period.) It was a JUBILEE – a celebration… a year long one! Not only that, but this would have been the second year in a row, following the seventh seven-year Sabbath, for rest. Can you imagine the fields being so ripe and fertile for two years in a row that day after day you’d just take a walk and enjoy the fruit of the land on your way, and gather what you needed for that day? But wait, it gets even better. The following year – the year after Jubilee was also provided for:
“21 I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. 22 While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.”
How could a sweet deal like this have gotten messed up? But it did. However, the messing-up part is not what this post is about.
A year ago, I decided to celebrate my personal Year of Jubilee. Hey, if fifty years is significant enough to God to bless His people in such a way; to give the land and people rest, to return things that had been lost, to live dedicated to the Creator for all He made and provides? I want this. So I declared my year of Jubilee.
And it was a great year! Starting with the company of my family celebrating this significant milestone birthday at a favorite Mexican restaurant – I remember vividly (and have a couple pictures to help!) my husband by my side, my boys faces across from me, y comiendo mi chile relleno con frijoles y arroz. Mmmmm… muy delicioso!
Here, a year later, I look back and remember all the joy and personal milestones: rich and deep spiritual growth, personal healing, summer Spanish classes taught by teachers from Mexico and Columbia. ¡Guau! (Spanish for wow) Something I’ve wanted to do forever!
My Jubilee year also included a trip to see family and view the great American Solar Eclipse, spiritual release into speaking, writing and dancing, meaningful volunteer work, watching my husband and children excel in their work and find pleasure in their hobbies, the blessing of my parents’ health (in-loves included), coffee and laughter with great friends, and a beautiful landscape and sky to view every single day. Interestingly, we did not get a garden planted last year, and I think the year before that we were without cattle, so the land got its rest!
It is funny to me how different we all are. Some absolutely dread getting older, but I must say, I have really enjoyed it and look forward to the days and years ahead. I do not accept that getting older is something to be looked upon like a dreaded disease. Bring it on!
Consider Psalm 92:12-15.
“12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Life continues rolling on, and each day offers new challenges and adventures if only we are willing to see and embrace them. So farewell, adios, goodbye, my year of Jubilee. Thank you for your rich blessings. Now, and still ahead, there is much more to grasp and see, to live and give!