Is Sabbath economics and the highly spiritual, ethical practice of Jubilee applicable for our time?

Andy shared on Sunday that it turns out, there is not much evidence at all that Christians ever really adopted the practice of Jubilee. However, there is no theme more common to Jesus’ storytelling than Sabbath/Jubilee.  According to Biblical Scholar Ched Myers, “the revisioning of Sabbath economics defined Jesus’ call to discipleship, lay at the heart of his teaching, and stood at the center of his conflict with the established order. Jesus repeatedly asserted that the purpose of Sabbath was to humanize the community and to make its internal relationships more just. 

Personally, as I have been reading articles on Sabbath economics and Jubilee, I have been surprised at how disappointed I was in learning that it was never really implemented in society. I found myself weighed down by the question of applicability. Until a few nights ago, when I woke up with a nudge from what I believe to be the Holy Spirit saying to me, “who cares that it hasn’t worked so far: start now”.  

Start now.

I’m not sure what “start now” means for me, or for us, but since this was the heart of Jesus’ teaching it’s probably worth our while to not doubt it or question it, but wonder about it.


God, Holy spirit, will you be kind to us in this season of wonder. Will you reveal to each of us how we may situate our lives, our being, our own familial systems of economics towards the holy work of humanizing our community and creating a more just society.


Lisa Etter-Carlson