Tag Archives: bible

The Wacky Jubilee

Last Sunday the sermon at church covered a little known bit of Jewish law called the Sabbath Year and the Year of Jubilee. I had heard about the latter in 1999 with Jubilee 2000 and the Drop the Debt Campaign (this perhaps marked the beginning of Bono’s most public crusader years), and produced perhaps my favorite quote from Bono which nicely summarizes the concepts:

“I’m learning more and more about Jubilee—the biblical concept that every seven days there’s a Sabbath and every seven years the land is to lie fallow and every seven times seven, i.e. in the 50th year, a year of grace, your debts were forgiven, slaves set free, etc. Quite punk rock for God. In fact, there are a lot of squeakies involved in Jubilee (Christians are hard to tolerate, I don’t know how Jesus does it … I’m one of them).”

What an incredible concept. Leviticus 25 details all the rules (interesting that nobody ever quotes that bit of Leviticus) and Wikipedia gives a vague overview

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They ask for prayer.

Prayer. That’s what they ask for. They’re being beaten, intimidated, starved, tortured. And they ask for prayer. Not for food. Not for clothing. And not even for an end to the persecution. They’re in countries like Egypt, Sudan, and China. Christians being persecuted for their faith. They value Bibles over bread and are willing to risk their well being just to read one. Mine sits on the shelf by my bed. I glanced through it the other day while I ate my breakfast. I wasn’t in danger of the police busting down my door.

It boggles my mind what different worlds we live in. They would spend every last cent on a Bible. I spend hundreds to ensure I’ll have matching dishes for every occasion. Sometimes I just don’t understand. Christianity makes so little sense in the twenty-first century. I wonder if people felt the same way in the first century.