The Jubilee

I grew up in Fairhope, Alabama, along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay. For as long as I can remember the word “jubilee” has been one that has sparked my senses, my emotions, and my memories with both excitement and awe. A jubilee occurs when the oxygen level in the bay decreases and forces the bottom feeders in the bay such as flounders and crabs to come to shore seeking pockets of oxygen. This phenomenon happens in the summer months usually after a hot day and a good rain. Then when the wind whispers in from the east and the tide rolls in a jubilee just might be found.


I’ve experienced the biggest and the best of these jubilees. I’ve seen the crabs so thick along the shore and upon one another that it was frightening. I’ve seen the flounder so numerous and lethargic that I’ve picked them up with my bare hands right off the edge of the shoreline. I grew up with summers of eating fresh crab and flounder for breakfast after an early morning jubilee and as a child I’ve ducked under so many piers and climbed over so many pilings that I still have dreams of these great childhood memories. Our freezers were always full of these Mobile Bay treasures and I never grew weary of eating fried flounder or picking out crab meat. What a gift these memories of jubilees are to me.

Now as an adult I’ve experienced another type of Jubilee. Another gift from our creator that has had even a greater impact on me. And it is this Jubilee after which I’ve named this web site. I didn’t create the name. I was not looking for it or even contemplating what I should call my web site if I had one. It came to me as a sort of gift. I just think it was meant to be the name of the site that would showcase my artwork. The work that God has placed upon my heart and in my hand to do.

As I pondered this jubilee and it’s significance to me as a child I became aware of another meaning. A scriptural meaning as found in the book of Leviticus.

And you shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall send abroad the loud trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family» (Leviticus 25, 8-10).

The word "jubilee" actually comes from the Hebrew word jobel, which means "ram's horn"; since it was a ram’s horn which was used as a trumpet, whose sound indicated to everybody the beginning of the jubilee year.

 

In this passage from Leviticus God proclaimed that every seventh year was to be a sabbath for the land - that crops were not to be planted but that they were to live on what God had provided before that time, and what grew up by itself. After seven sabbath years came a year of Jubilee, which along with being a Sabbath for the land, also was a "year of release". This meant that all Israelites who were in bondage were freed, and anyone who had sold his ancestral property would receive it back, and all debts were forgiven.

So What does this jubilee mean for us now? Where and when do we find our “jubilee” today? What is this Old Testament text pointing to? Where do we find this release, this freedom where all our debts are forgiven?

We find it in the Gospel. In Luke Chapter 4:18 Jesus says, “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hat sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.… Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

What He was talking about is the year of Jubilee. Jesus was saying, I am He, I am the One - the Sent One, the Messiah, I am your Jubilee! I have come to set you free, to bring healing and to proclaim liberty and deliverance to those who are bound and oppressed! To bring mankind back to its original place of being children of the Most High God, in fellowship with Him, and enjoying all of the covenant rights that go along with it.

Jesus Christ is our true Jubilee. A Jubilee bigger and better than any you might discover waiting along the shore of the bay. And just as the jubilee along the shore is a bountiful gift from our Creator, so is this Jubilee we call Messiah. He is a Jubilee where we are all freely given endless amounts of love and forgiveness by Christ himself. It is this love and forgiveness which we find in the work of Christ upon the Cross that I hope to share with you through my artwork. These are my good works to each of you who view them here. I hope they are a bountiful blessing to you.

Christ’s Blessings,

Patti Miller