Monday, December 26, 2011

Jubilee Celebration

(Jesus’ Jubilee Declaration)“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19

I just finished reading the excellent book, Jubilee – A Season of Spiritual Renewal by Mel Lawrenz. It was a good book to end the year reflecting on my personal spiritual growth and what has happened in ministry among Muslim women.

I love sharing about my Savior, Jesus Christ, with Muslim women. It is pure joy to do so. It is my passion in life. For sure evangelism among Muslim women can be  challenging and even frustrating at times because of linguistic difficulties, cultural differences, spiritual blindness or oppression but underneath all of that there is a fountain that springs up in my soul. Like Jesus was and continues to be, I too am on a Jubilee mission of proclaiming the Good News, seeing captives/victims released, and spiritual blindness and oppression to be lifted away.

I don’t ever want to lose the thrill and joy of sharing about Jesus. Recently I was visiting Salima, a new Afghan friend, who has been in our country for ten years. She didn’t have an opportunity to go to school as a child. She is learning to read English but still can’t read her own language. I asked her if she would like to read a story from my Toddlers Bible story book which I had with me. The story I picked was about Jesus calming the angry waves after a storm erupted threatening to drown the disciples in the boat. I asked her if she understood who Jesus was. “No,” she replied. “You don’t know who Jesus is?” I asked incredulously. “No,” she answered. I explained it was Isa al Masih. Jesus is the English name. She had never heard the name Jesus in her ten years in our country! It was hard to believe. One of the greatest joys for me is to proclaim the wonder of who Jesus is according to the Injeel. When I look into their eyes my heart melts with compassion. When I read Scripture with them and notice they are listening attentively my heart warms. And when I am allowed to pray for them in the name of Jesus and sense a holy hush and see that familiar awestruck daze or a few tears roll down their cheeks – well, for me, that is indication that Jubilee is approaching.

Jesus not only declared it was the time of Jubilee but He is the great Jubilee. I have joined His Jubilee team. Maybe you, too. This Jubilee ministry is worth celebrating at the end of a full year of ministry. It has been hard work. A tough spiritual battle. It is fitting to take some time for jubilation, even if it's just all by yourself with God. Express it with a dance, some celebratory music, lighting candles or buying some roses. Some Muslim friend has been released from oppression or her spiritual eyes have been opened to more truth, been set free from shame or condemnation, or perhaps experienced a measure of justice. Celebrate!  The time of the Lord's favor has come for Muslim women.

Dear heavenly Father, send me out in the new year on Your Jubilee mission in the authority and name of Jesus, Amen.