Images of Jubilee

Growing up in a fundamentalistish church, I learned to read Scripture in a particular way.  It was understood as a monolithic text with a cohesive narrative arc, one story with a beginning, a middle, and an end.  This story conveyed information and our task was to receive it.  In particular, this story was the story of God’s action in the world for salvation.  He (it was definitely He) tried a state of blissful nature and it didn’t work.  He tried the law and we broke it.  He sent the prophets came and we killed them.  Finally, He came to the world as Jesus and died to save us.  Sort of.  For some reason, Jesus still has to come back again; I’m not sure why.  In any case, when he does, things will finally be fixed.  And somehow, it matters that we believe this to be the case.  I’m sure this will come as a shock, but I don’t read Scripture that way anymore.  I think that I love Scripture more now than I ever did then because it is now to me a fugue, a repeating pattern with variation and expansion, a pattern in which we live and breathe.  Our Eastertide theme of Jubilee is just such a pattern.  Perhaps it is the pattern of the Christian story.

As we read last week, Leviticus 25 contains the clearest expression of Jubilee.  However, that text has ancestors and descendents that touch virtually every aspect of human life: agriculture, the environment, empire, economics, systems of power, the human soul.  The image of Jubilee is repurposed to suit the needs of the people to whom it is proclaimed.  In all cases, it is a calling to human thriving in a just society.  As this series unfolds, we will look at the various ways in which the image of Jubilee is used and what that call might look like.  What are we free from?  What are we free for?  What holds us and the world captive?  How do we affect release?

Please join us this Sunday, 11am at Kidd Springs Park, as we proclaim the Jubilee, the year of God’s favor.  Note that we will not be in the rec center this week.  We will meet on the lawn by the garden between the parking lots off Canty.  Please bring blankets or folding chairs and you might want to wear a hat.  If possible, you may want to ride a bike or walk because the event that has displaced us might make parking limited.  It should be a beautiful day tomorrow and it will do us good to encounter God in the sunshine.

Also, remember that we will be putting the Jubilee proclamation into action in the afternoon.  Starting at 4pm at Sara Kitto’s house, 310 S. Montclair, we will have a potluck, hootenanny, and telethon to raise money for Occupy Wall Street’s Rolling Jubilee, which buys toxic debt and forgives it, just like Jesus.  There will be plenty of food.  If you play an instrument, bring it and join in the pickin’.  And bring money.  We want to contribute as much as we can to release people from debt.  Hope to see you Sunday!

Grace & Peace,

Ordination Candidate Forum

I met on Wednesday with members of the church to talk about ordination.  There were great questions.  It was good to articulate some of what ordination means to me.  We had planned to have a second session this Sunday morning, but decided to push it one week because we are meeting outside and we will be working hard in the afternoon for Jubilee.  So, the new date and time are April 21st at 10am.  This will still allow a full two weeks for people to consider before the vote scheduled for the May 5th community meeting.

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