The Old Testament notion of Jubilee is tied up very much with land and property ownership, and the conveyance of land especially. The idea that Yahweh was the true owner of the land and all the Israelites were his tenants was at the basis of the “laws” of ownership. There was jubilation at the time of return to former owners of property “within” the forty-nine years – the fiftieth year was a golden year of delight. The tradition was more an ideal than a law.
We have a diamond Jubilee to celebrate together in honour of the 60th year of Her Majesty the Queen when she became Queen on the death of her father. Next year we will commemorate her coronation. Whatever our thoughts about royalty we can thank God for her life and leadership.
Speaking personally, I am celebrating the Golden Jubilee of my Ordination to the priesthood at my home parish church, St Mary’s Preston Park, Brighton on June 29th 1962. Three weeks later on 21st July my sister was married in the same church. Hence both of us and all our existing family are coming together to celebrate a Double Gold. There will be jubilation for the event and hopefully something for all the younger members to remember.
Why mark a Jubilee? First it is a celebration of an achievement in life. Many memories will unfold prompted by photographs and happy talk. Jubilees are more important than nnual events and deserve a greater celebration. We can also learn from their celebration for they are significant. They can be an encouragement to Those around especially where marriage is concerned. The old joke in reply to the question made to the old fellow, did you ever think of divorce? No – never! But murder frequently!
To all Jubilarians this year, whatever the title – May God be with you and may your celebration be a happy memory.
Kevin F. Gaskin