From the Administrator’s Desk
My Dear, Precious, Harmony Plains Singing School Friends,
2013 marks fifty summers voices have sung out in praise while attending Harmony Plains. Just think, all total fifty weeks of jubilant heart felt release in song. The fiftieth year is here. The Year Of Jubilee Is Come!!
God commanded the Israelites through Moses to keep a year of jubilee. A most unusual observance, this celebration occurred only once in most people’s life time, as it occurred only once every 50 years. At this year of jubilee all Israelites who had sold themselves into slavery were set free and all land that had been sold went back to its original owners. This meant that no Israelite could ever be in permanent slavery nor could any Israelite permanently lose his inheritance, Leviticus 5:8-55.
Jesus chose to begin his public ministry with a clear reference to this year of jubilee. In the synagogue at Nazareth he read these words from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; Because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD”, Isaiah 61:1,2a and Luke 4:18,19
He announced freedom to prisoners, release to oppressed, and the Lord’s favor in fulfillment of the year of jubilee. His ministry brought deliverance from sin, sickness, and Satan to multitudes. The horrors of His crucifixion and the glories of His resurrection brought redemption. Fifty days later at Pentecost the gospel delivered hearers from their fear of sin and judgment when Christ’s successful work was proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit. From that day until this the glorious message of grace has been delivering and releasing captives.
We gather this year rejoicing in our Father’s blessing of providing fifty years of joy at Harmony Plains. On this fiftieth year we lift our voices to the King of Kings for the ultimate ‘Jubilee Year’. You see we are all imprisoned in one way or another, yet in Christ, captives are set free. Let me explain.
First, we are caged in by life’s demands, life’s responsibilities, and life’s cares. We want good marriages, we want people to respect us, we want good kids, and we want our lives to be worth something. Yet we are pacing back and forth every day in a myriad of ways behind the bars of reality that we don’t have it all together.
Secondly, we want God to be pleased with us, we want Him to sign off on our efforts, and we want to measure up in His sight. We want to be assured of His acceptance and affection. We must know that if all our thoughts, attitudes, and motives just for the past thirty days were put on the big screen it would but reveal what God sees all the time. We are in the prison of inability to get it right with others or to ever get it all right before Him.
Captives we are. Who will deliver us from the ravaging truth that we are not free? Where can life’s burdens be lifted, and life’s prisons opened? In Christ!! The trumpet is sounding the joyful news is come. It is not how others assess us or how we measure ourselves. “Return ye ransomed sinners, home.” God loves us, not because we are lovable, but because he chose to love us. Sinners are accepted, not when they become acceptable in and of themselves, but because He made them accepted in Christ. Prisoners are not released because they possess the key to unlock the dungeon of works; Christ destroyed the prison of efforts for justification when He arose from the dead. “The Year of Jubilee Is Come.”
“Exalt the Lamb of God, The sin atoning Lamb; Redemption by His blood, Thru all the lands proclaim.”
Let us come together for this fiftieth session of HPSS with the theme, ‘Living in Jubilee’. Our text for HPSS 2013 will be our Savior’s pronouncement of jubilee, Luke 4:18-19. Our song of jubilee is hymn 464 in the Old School Hymnal #11, Blow Ye The Trumpet Blow.
Praying for a joyful week and a jubilee year of making wonderful memories and singing glorious praises.
By His Grace, Brother Dickie