For the bulk of us in America right now who have been warned, or suggested, or for us in Alabama just yesterday, now ordered, to stay at home unless you need to leave your house for work or essentials, life feels strangely odd. Most of us are not dealing with the virus directly, though most of us know someone who is.
No, the odd thing about all of this, at least at this point for us is that this simply feels like a hard reset on our culture and on family life as a whole. People have been ordered to spend more time, often more than they’d like or admit to, at home with their families. This whole deal shines brightly on the fact that many of us find our identity not in whose we are, but more in what we do. By “whose” of course I mean two simultaneous belongings — to our families God has given us and to God himself.
Jubilee is the word I have been thinking on and praying over.
This quick snapshot from gotquestions.org helps paint the picture I mean to describe when I have been thinking of the reset that jubilee brought to the people of Israel:
The Year of the Jubilee involved a year of release from indebtedness (Leviticus 25:23–38) and all types of bondage (vv. 39–55). All prisoners and captives were set free, all slaves were released, all debts were forgiven, and all property was returned to its original owners. In addition, all labor was to cease for one year, and those bound by labor contracts were released from them. One of the benefits of the Jubilee was that both the land and the people were able to rest. https://www.gotquestions.org/Jubilee.html
I know that the Lord does not deal with the world the way that he dealt with his people Israel, and we as His church have different guidelines than they did. But I do believe that many Old Testament practices and conditions of one’s life’s rhythm would be helped immensely if we practiced many of the things they did (think of sabbath for example).
So while a season of rest may not be needed for the land to rest and actual prisoners be released from jails, perhaps our culture is what needs the reset.
Things being undone…
• No 80 hour weeks of work, and more time at home with family
• Parents having to teach their kids from home
• Extra curricular sports/activiites ceasing; therefore more time at home
• Forced creativity instead of carting kids from one practice to another
• Time to be with your spouse … O God would we not waste this
• Time to focus on your family and God and not on your career.
There is more…much more. And I know many people are sick, terribly sick to the point of death, and many loved ones are not able to say goodbye to those losing their lives the way we all wish we could. For the rest of us, God I pray you would use this time for our souls.
A hard reset. Perhaps that’s what our culture needs more than anything.
God I pray you would be glorified in all of this. I pray you would be honored by my life and the way I love my family and serve your church in this time. — -