On September 14th, we celebrate the beginning of the ecclesiastical year. By the old calendar, on September 1st, the Church recalls how the Lord delivered His sermon in the synagogue, as mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. In it, the Lord quotes the prophecy of Isaiah from the Old Testament and speaks of how these words are fulfilled in Him, Jesus. These words are: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor" (Luke 4:18-19).
But what does "the year of the Lord's favor" mean? This refers to the so-called "jubilee year." According to the Old Testament law, every fiftieth year (Leviticus 25:11), all debts were canceled, slaves were set free, and land that had been lost, whether due to debt or any other reason, was returned to its rightful owners. In ancient Israel, like in any human society, there were disparities, with some becoming rich, others falling into poverty, some acquiring extensive land, others becoming day laborers, some boasting full coffers of money, and others sinking into debt. People found themselves destitute for various reasons—some were not at fault and fell into poverty due to illness, fire, poor harvests, or other unfortunate circumstances, while others suffered from their own laziness or vices. But for all of them, the year of the Lord's favor promised a new life. The yoke of slavery, whether regular or indebted, was abolished, and people regained their freedom and were given plots of land to cultivate, thus providing for themselves through their own labor.
Wealthy individuals who lost slaves, money, or land were undoubtedly dissatisfied, but for the majority of people, this was a time of indescribable joy and celebration. Everything that had made people's lives bitter and agonizing—poverty, debts, oppression—came to an end. The jubilee year was established by law not only to maintain the dignity, equality, and justice among God's people but also to foreshadow the imminent deliverance when God would grant His people freedom in a much more profound and higher sense—freedom from sin, fear, and death.
In the Old Testament, as in any human society, various events or ordinances usually foreshadowed what was to come with the coming of the Savior. And now Christ announces that the Lord's summer is coming—a moment of transformation when, through God's grace, we can leave behind all our past sins, troubles, and misconceptions. The hurts we have suffered and the hurts we have inflicted in the past. We can be released, forgiven, accepted, restored in our relationships with God and each other. For us, a completely new life can begin. And this jubilee year, for the people of the New Testament, can come at any moment, as soon as we decide to turn to Christ in repentance and faith.
Original article: radiovera.ru/lyubit-li-bog-zlodeev.html