Today I turned 49. I officially begin my 50th year on the planet – my jubilee.
The term jubilee comes from an ancient Hebrew word meaning “blow the ram’s horn.” This was something to be done by the nation of Israel every 50 years:
You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall consecrate 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 clan.
Leviticus 25:8-10 (ESV)
The jubilee was designed to be a year of liberty. Of celebration. Of freedom. Land was returned to its original owners; families were expected to reunite.
As I have meditated on this passage for the past few days, I’ve been praying, “Lord, how do you want me to celebrate my jubilee?” Yesterday the answer came quite clearly.
I want to liberate the captives in my life.
So today I am blowing the ram’s horn. I dedicate my 50th year to freeing people whom I have held in low esteem, held grudges against, thought poorly of, entertained vacuous rumors in my head about, had unresolved conflict with, or simply not given due respect to. In many cases these people may not even know it. In some cases I may not even know it, but I am unconsciously harboring these attitudes (I do try to keep short accounts with people).
Yes, this is all about my heart. More than anything, I desire the grace of God – which is so precious to me – to flow unrestricted through me and bless others. That would make for a great year and a truly awesome 50th birthday party in 2013.