A Little Jubilee Story for You
I first learned about Jubilee on a recent trip to the Alabama coast.
I couldn't help but notice how many things - menu items, restaurants, streets, and storefronts included the word, "Jubilee" in their name. Digging deeper, I learned not only is this a lovely word, but it is actually a rare event that takes place in only two places in the world - the bays of Japan and the shores of Alabama.
Jubilee is a phenomenon that happens when conditions are just right. The weather and water circumstances paired with specific oxygen levels bring all the most sought-after fish and crustaceans to the very edges of the shore. Literally, the shallow waters are full-on brimming with sea life, overflowing onto the shoreline. When this rare event happens, ordinary life stops as every resident makes their way to the coast for a once-in-a-lifetime harvest and celebration.
Shouts of "Jubilee" are passed on from neighbor to neighbor, phone lines light up and the entire town comes together to harvest, cook and celebrate. Jubilees include fantastic parties, boils, roasts, and picnics as the town feasts on this rare event. You can read more about the Alabama Jubliee here. Experience has taught me that the South boasts some pretty fantastic tailgates. But in my mind, the Jubilee has to be the mother of all tailgates.
Where do you see a little Jubilee in your life?
The Year of Jubilee from the Old Testament was a guaranteed event every 50 years. It's the year when all debts were forgiven, captives were set free, and lands are returned to rightful owners. The year was dedicated to resting, both for the people and the land. It was the Biblical version of the most lavish celebration, renewal, and restoration.
For me, I often think of life in the Alabama Jubilee style - waiting for conditions to be just right. Jubilees are a rare phenomenon event even though I can plainly see the vast abundance displayed before me. I wait for the exact right circumstances to celebrate, rest, forgive, and return to grace. But from the Bible, the Jubilee was certain. It was guaranteed and always on its way, no matter if the circumstances were right or not.
I'd like to imagine God wants us to find a little bit of Jubilee every single day. Maybe not in the overflowing crustacean version (although that would be awesome). But maybe closer to the Biblical version of deciding grace and abundance are already here. I'm not sure if I have another 50 years, so I've decided maybe a bit of Jubliee each day sounds better. I don't think I need to wait for an entire half-century to pass by before I forgive, celebrate, and feast on the life I have been given. In truth, all of us are given a bit of Jubilee each day in Christ.
Whether we deserve it or not, whether we understand it or not,
because of Christ's love for us, we are given a bit of Jubilee every day.