Sermon Reflection for Sunday, January 28 | Respectfully submitted by Brenda Worley
We were very grateful to The Rev. Louis Tonsmeire for being our presider and preacher in the absence of Mother Mary. We know that he felt right at home.
Father Louis shared a story of summertime on Mobile Bay. The people who live there patrol the beaches in the evenings awaiting the bounty of masses of fishes and crabs that sometimes come up on the beach and are free for the taking. When one of the patrol witnesses the arrival, they shout, “Jubilee, jubilee, jubilee.” Alerted, the others gather the bounty and enjoy the feast.
In the Old Testament reading, Leviticus 25 tells us that every fiftieth year shall be proclaimed as a jubilee year. All real property should automatically revert to its original owner, and those who, compelled by poverty, had sold themselves as slaves to their brothers, should regain their liberty.
As Jesus read from Isaiah 61 in the temple, he was announcing a jubilee year and proclaiming the year of God’s favor. He informed them that he was ordained to “bring good news to the poor.” He was sent to proclaim release to the captives, sight for the blind, and freedom for the oppressed. When he was finished with the reading he announced that the prophesy had been fulfilled.
In this event Jesus makes his identity known. Once we admit that we are the poor, the captives, the blind and the oppressed we can live into an acceptable year of the Lord. He offers us salvation, redemption and release if we but accept his gift. This is a definite reason to shout, “Jubilee!”
In our prayers at Holy Communion we give thanks for the “word made flesh” and admit that he has “brought us out error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life.” Because of his redemption we should not be fearful at the time of justice. This redemption frees us from the bondage and sting of death and the thought that there is no more.
In the words of the closing prayer we are charged to go into the world in peace and we ask for the strength and courage to love and serve the Lord. In our closing hymn we were called to “Publish glad tidings, tidings of peace; Tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.” We have been given the gifts and now it’s time to shout, “Jubilee, jubilee, jubilee!”