A Jubilant Jubilee – 49 Years with Jesus (and counting!)

I am a bit jubilant right now, because this month I reached my Jubilee year with Jesus. As of January 2024, I’ve journeyed with Jesus for forty-nine years now. The Old Testament teaches that the completion of the forty-ninth year marks the beginning of the year of Jubilee. God declared this celebration for His people Israel, and, this year, I have decided to embrace it as a celebration in my life, too. However, Jubilee is meant to be celebrated in community, so I would love for you to join me in this significant season.

My Jesus Story

I had only been four years old for about six weeks when the truth of God’s Word connected from my head to my heart. I understood from my parents, Sunday School teacher and pastor that my sin separated me from God. I knew He knew everything about me – including the way I’d pinched my little sister out of meanness. I was taught that we are born sinners, and even at four I was well aware of my depravity. However – praise God! – I  was also taught that Jesus loves me and chose me to be His very own, if only I would choose Him. 

I didn’t know what my future held, but I definitely didn’t want my sin to separate me from God forever in hell. Even as a three-year old, this weighed heavy on my heart and mind. So finally, just weeks after my 4th birthday in mid-January 1975, I prayed the sinner’s prayer, confessed my sin and placed my faith in Jesus. 

That was 49 years ago now. Seven cycles of seven years, complete. Leviticus says, “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years” (‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭25‬:‭8‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

The Biblical Jubilee

At the end of the 49 years, God commanded that the Jubilee was to be set apart and started with a proclamation of freedom to all the community. Leviticus 25 says, And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you… That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you…  It shall be holy to you….“ (from ‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭25‬:‭10‬-‭12‬ ‭ESV‬‬).

This message of liberty and freedom was not to be silent or secretive; it was to be sounded and trumpeted throughout the land. The Hebrew word for jubilee actually means “ram’s horn, trumpet, wind instrument.” God wanted this celebration to be broadcast far and wide to everyone who could and would hear. The sound of the ram’s horn or trumpets signaled the arrival and beginning of a very special, meaningful season. 

Proclaiming the Blessing

Now, I don’t have trumpet or ram’s horn in my musical repertoire, but I do have the wind instrument of my voice. As I have completed my personal seven cycles of seven with Jesus, I now lift up my voice to proclaim the freedoms of Jubilee, not just for my own life but for all who will hear me. 

According to Leviticus 25, Jubilee is about restoration, redemption, release and return. Jubilee is about blessing and forgiveness, community and hope. I proclaim these in Jesus’ Name. I proclaim these over my family, my friends, my church and the Family Disciple Me ministry. I proclaim these over my spheres of influence and responsibility. 

But I’m not stopping there.

As I speak these Jubilee freedoms over my life and the lives of all the precious people God has entrusted to me, I’m determined to live this special year watching for them through Jubilee lenses. 

I’m looking for the return of the prodigals: “Come home! Come home! Return! Return!” 

I’m praying for the release of addicts and watching for their healing.

I’ve got my eyes scanning for the redemption that only God can weave out of broken stories. 

I’m studying the horizons for the blessings He has promised, not just for my life and family, but also for my church community and ministry as we seek Him. 

I’m looking for the harvest from fields long tended, seeds carefully planted, and seedlings lovingly cultivated.

Come Celebrate with Me!

To be sure, I don’t know all the ways that this Jubilee will impact my life. I don’t understand all of Leviticus 25, not by any means. I’m not sure of all the applications and correlations of this Old Testament celebration to the New Testament life of a believer.

However, I do know that God is on the move. Celebrating the journey with Jesus is something to get excited about – – – and something to invite others to come join!

So, would you come join me in this Jubilee? 

(Here, borrow my looking glasses!)


Be Encouraged! ❤️



Share this post