Through Moses the God of Israel gave very specific laws and ceremonial performances to His children. There are five books of Moses in the Old Testament that document not just the history of man but these laws and performances. In Exodus 20 verses 8-10 we find the law of the Sabbath:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work.
But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is in thy gates.” Exodus 20:8-10
The Lord was serious about the Sabbath being a day of rest and renewal. Moses received additional Sabbath direction part of which is found in Leviticus 25 where he lays out a requirement for a Sabbath year. Every seventh year the Israelites were to rest from their labors and allow their land and cattle to rest for the year as well.
On top of the Sabbath year the Lord proclaimed that after seven, seven year cycles there was to be a year of Jubilee. Beginning in verse eight:
“And thou shalt number seven Sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound…
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be jubilee unto you; and you shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.”
Tradition has it that slaves would be freed, debts were to be forgiven and blessings from God were bountiful.
Verse 17 says;
“Ye shall not therefore oppress one another; but thou shalt fear thy God: for I am the Lord your God.”
Imagine what a different place our world would be if we followed the jubilee principles today. Every fifty years we would get to hit the reset button and start afresh. Since I probably won’t get time on the floor of the UN to propose this solution to the world’s strife I will have to settle for starting within my circle of influence and talk to my family.
As the patriarch of the Terry Pyle family I hereby declare 2017 to be Jubilee unto us. During this year I ask you to return every man his rightful possessions, forgive any debts , not oppress one another and most of all forgive and forget any old trespasses for which you harbor resentment or antagonism.
Please don’t think that this will be as easy as simply saying “okay” because it won’t. We like to harbor resentments like old Scrooge McDuck hordes gold coins but to become what we all want, to be an eternal family, we need to let these negative things go away. Please, just let the old issues go and stop anticipating old attitudes or slights to become real again.
We are all adults, living productive lives so let us treat each other that way.
In order to facilitate this Pyle Jubilee you all have one assignment for each week of 2017. Once per week you will call one of your siblings and have a real life conversation about them.
Rules to the assignment:
1. TEXT CONVERSATIONS DO NOT COUNT!
2. Receiving a call does not fulfill your assignment to call a sibling that week.
3. If you miss a call it becomes your responsibility to call back and make contact.
4. You need to call each sibling before you can count another call to an already called sibling. I.e. if Lilly calls Megan she has to then call everyone else before she can call Megan again to get credit for fulfilling her weekly assignment.
5. My sons and daughters-in-law are included in this assignment too.
Obviously the difficult one will be Tyson because of the time zone difference and his work schedule, but there is always the weekend. Reece’s work schedule will make it difficult every other week too.
To those reading this blog post who are not of my family, I encourage you to “cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound” in your life as well. Forgive whatever negative you are carrying around with you that is just excess baggage and keeping you from the relationships you should be enjoying. Let go of past offenses and start reaching out to those you love but are keeping at a distance because of some past deed. Like by granddaughter sang all week, “Let it go, let it go.” Trust me your life will be much brighter.
Happy New Year! May 2017 be a wonderful year full of renewal and hope.