read: “The Lord God has anointed me . . .to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and a day of vindication for our God.” -Isaiah 61: 2.
reflect: Isaiah says that when God send the Holy Spirit to us, it is time for “the year of the Lord’s favor.” That sounds like a really good year, when things go the way we want them to go. Wouldn’t that be great! I do hope all of us have a really good year in 2015! But the meaning here is different. “The year of the Lord’s favor” is the Jubilee year. In Leviticus, a Jubilee year is prescribed to occur every fiftieth year. In this year, slaves and prisoners would be freed and financial debts would be forgiven. Imagine that just for a moment.
Payday loan places would shut down, women caught in the cycle of prostitution would be set free, the prison doors would open – – – imagine. These sweeping releases are overwhelming to consider. What about the personal releases that will occur? When the year of the Lord comes, I would forgive the list in my head of who owes me what, and to whom I owe what, and so would you.
Isaiah says this is what happens when God comes to us.
pray: Lord, am I willing to live the year of the Lord’s favor that you bring to me? Help me to be willing! Amen.
with children: Play “London Bridges” and add a verse after “take a key and lock her up.” Sing “Jesus comes and sets her free, sets her free, sets her free!”
act: Pray for the families living in with financial debts far beyond their means.