Special New Year’s greetings of joy in this very special and important year of our entire Fellowship. I have excited anticipation of what we shall recall and experience in this year together.
The dictionary definition of the word jubilee relates to the blessed family of words which have their root in the word “joy”—”A feeling of lively pleasure as that excited by good fortune, that which causes happiness.” The words that describe this disposition and experience of fullest well-being are joyful, joyous, jubilant, jubilation and jubilee. The last word basically connotes a period or occasion of general joy and rejoicing.
In the revealed will of God, as given through the ceremonies, judgments, and commandments, this provision was enjoined in the guide of the social and congregational life of the people of God. God’s will does not change, but the approach alters in the progressive fulfillment of the purposes of our Lord.
The year of Jubilee was to serve as a “rest spot” on the road of service. It presupposes first a happy and vibrant beginning. Something to recall as an anchor for recaptured joys and triumphs. Then it presupposes pressures, tensions, hardship, abuses, and general deviations from the base of joy and well-being till so many things that make for triumph, happiness, and God’s favor become obscured. It is necessary to stop and realign, to re-evaluate and regroup.
It is right to recall where and how and why we began our walk and service together. Blow the trumpet and sound it through all the fellowship, proclaim liberty throughout the membership. Set yourselves at ease from tensions. Recapture a redemptive attitude toward the brethren. Bury the feelings of prejudice and ill-will which are born out of pressures and toils of the road. Lay aside discriminations that are born out of self-interest and survival. It is a year to envelop others with love and joy.
It is a feast year, not a fast year. It is a Pentecost of years. It is a rest of Holy Ghost release—Isaiah 28:11,12.
I call upon our ministry to shed any straight jacket that causes tension. If seeking to be profound has bound you, determine to be simple under the leading of the Spirit. Free yourself from any bondage that sermon notes have brought upon your freedom to move in the anointing. Recapture the extemporaneous flow of the language of the heart.
Release yourselves from any procedure of service or worship that restricts and hinders. Let Holy Spirit freedom take precedence in holy trust so that it will be meaningful. “Let brotherly love continue.” Build yourselves up praying in the Holy Ghost—Jude 20. Dig again the wells of the fathers that the conflict of the generation have stopped. Claim and practice the release of trust and yielding.
Saints of the Lord, do not demand sermons, procedures, and affects that create a tension-ridden atmosphere. Try a more noble way of appreciation and understanding in the working of the Lord. Do not demand that our churches be lecture and organization halls. Do not demand that we must be institutionalized like the world. We blow the trumpet of release from these robbers of our joys and triumphs.
I challenge our believers, ministers, and workers to call a feast of released worship and glory among us. We have become tense, scrutinizing, unkind, intolerant, and impatient. It is time to stop and share with open heart and open face the glory of the Lord and be changed from glory to glory into His wonderful and unbound image. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
Make the week of prayer, to mark the opening of our Year of Jubilee, to be one of freedom in the Spirit. This will attract so many who are looking for a way out of self-imposed bondage.
Make your evangelism to be unpretentious, but free in love. Our general conference is planned to be directed into a spiritual refreshing time. We are overdue, let us recall and reclaim our release now.
Our Apostolic heritage will be reclaimed in our Year of Jubilee. It is a ripe and glorious time for new beginnings to fulfill our mission of keeping the Apostolic lineage, practice, and power alive in our generations until Jesus comes.