Leviticus 25:1-24: “You shall count off seven weeks of years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years. Then you shall have the trumpet sounded aloud; on the tenth day of the seventh month – on the Day of Atonement – you shall the trumpet sounded throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants” (v. 8-10).
Devotion: My daughter learned to play the trumpet. We enjoyed listening to her play familiar melodies on her rented brass instrument, now that she is past practicing, “Hot Crossed Buns,” for one thousandth time. Winter concerts became enjoyable, too. Her insatiable desire to wake the family from our winter slumber with a trumpet blast, however, was something we have not grown to love.
The blast of a ram’s horn (Hebrew: yobhel, meaning jubilee) was essential to Israel’s worship. The piercing sound proclaimed the onset of sacred time (time set apart for God). God ordained the Sabbath (seventh day), sabbatical rest (seventh year), and the Jubilee year (seven times seven years). These festivals (along with other appointed festivals and at the beginning of your months) started with a trumpet call for all people – free and enslaved, rich and poor, male and female, Jew and non-Jew – to rejoice in the Lord who provides for human needs, protects God’s people, establishes justice, frees the prisoner, and stresses ownership of all things. This practice was to continue in perpetuity, until the Last Trumpet sounds for Christ’s Second Coming as the ultimate, unending Jubilee.
Do you hear the ram’s horn blowing for you? It summons you to lay down your weapons against God, and surrender to the truth of sacred time: you are a bankrupt sinner whom God yearns to set free through forgiving love. You were an enemy of God by your rebellious will but the trumpet proclaims God’s festival celebration among the angels at the moment you repent. It is a trumpet of warning telling you that time is drawing nigh – For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and the with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.” Don’t miss the ram’s horn for the ultimate Jubilee because you are asleep!
Prayer: God our Father, you call us to wake-up in Jesus Christ by the stirring of your Holy Spirit. Open our ears to hear the Jubilee call by the blast of your trumpet in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer Exercise: “Centering Prayer,” page 138, in Patricia D. Brown, “Paths to Prayer: Finding Your Own Way to the Presence of God,” (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003). ISBN: 0-779-6565-0. Copyright © 2003 by Patricia D. Brown. All rights reserved.