Minister’s Pastoral Letter for June

Jubilee

This month, many of us will be taking part in public celebrations for the Queen’s Royal Platinum Jubilee. Maybe you will be going to a street party, afternoon tea, coffee morning or special service to mark this huge achievement of 70 years of commitment and service by our Queen for her country. Perhaps you will join with me in offering a little prayer for her continued good health, stamina and peace especially over the next few weeks and months.

We may be marking this Jubilee in many different ways but some of us will be benefitting from the extra bank holidays being given this year- and this reflects something of the whole idea of Jubilee.

Later this year it is also the 50th anniversary of the start of the United Reformed Church- our own URC Jubilee. In October there will be a special service of thanksgiving to mark its beginnings   The Old Testament understanding of Jubilee was that every 50th year, the land and its people should know rest, release, restoration, and be reset.

In this Jubilee year, one of the texts the URC is focussing on is found in Luke chapter four, verses 18 and 19 where Jesus reads from the scriptures and says this:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

These words from Isaiah 61 also reflect the theme of Jubilee where the poor receive good news, captives are released, the blind are given their sight back, the oppressed are freed, and the year of the Lord’s favour is proclaimed.

Except this isn’t suggesting a time and place sometime in the future, Jesus reads these words and says, ‘Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

Jesus IS Jubilee. Jesus IS good news, Jesus offers release, sight, freedom. The year of the Lord’s favour isn’t just every fiftieth year but through Jesus can be today and every day.

As Christ’s followers we are called to live out and share this Jubilee- to proclaim the year of the Lords favour every day, to be and share good news.

What would the world look like if all people were living this jubilee? Our planet would be cared for, we wouldn’t take more than we need. Those imprisoned in body or soul would be released, those who are oppressed would be freed, people would be restored, renewed,  and each and every day, we would be proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favour.

Maybe we can start today- living Jubilee lives, caring for our world and each other, working for release of captives and supporting the oppressed, letting all people know that God loves them, proclaiming in our own way the year of the Lords favour.

May you, in your heart and life, know that too

Your friend and minister

Cath

 

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