Last night, for some reason, the idea of Jubilee came to mind. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Jubilee, it is a command given to the Hebrew people for when they entered the Promised Land. Here is the command (from Leviticus 25):
8 You shall count off seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the period of seven weeks of years gives forty-nine years.
9Then you shall have the trumpet sounded loud; on the tenth day of the seventh month—on the day of atonement—you shall have the trumpet sounded throughout all your land.
10And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and you shall proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you: you shall return, every one of you, to your property and every one of you to your family.
11That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you: you shall not sow, or reap the aftergrowth, or harvest the unpruned vines.
12For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you: you shall eat only what the field itself produces.
13 In this year of jubilee you shall return, every one of you, to your property.
Now, technically, Jubilee year is about property and slavery. [it’s complicated, but this slavery was different than U.S. chattel slavery] But let’s use our imaginations.
2018 is the 50th anniversary of vote to fund BAC (Black Affairs Council). With all that happened in the years that followed, I’m not calling for a traditional celebration. But I do think that there needs to be some honoring of that decision. And, inviting those who got wounded/hurt/burned in the ensuing aftermath to “Come Home”, because Unitarian Universalism was their home.
To go even further, what would it look like if we took the idea of Jubilee seriously next year; not just with those who left because of the “Controversy”, but all people of color who have come the way of Unitarian Universalism over the years only to be cast aside at the altar of whiteness.
Maybe something could be done in conjunction with the Commission on Institutional Change to gather groups together with the central question asked of them being based on the concept of Jubilee, “What would Unitarian Universalism looked like if there was true liberty–if people were free enough to bring their entire selves in and make Unitarian Universalism home?”
There is joy to be had in the toiling that we are going through right now. This next year, we should talk about that.