Watch the Rolling Jubilee telethon tonight on the website and give to the “people’s bailout,” other wise known as the Biblical Jubilee! Rolling Jubilee buys up distressed debt for pennies on the dollar, like debt collectors do. But instead of hounding people to collect the money, you, as a donor, are forgiving it.
Jesus starts his ministry by standing up in the synagogue and starting to read. (Luke 4:16ff) He chooses some verses from the prophet Isaiah announcing “good news to the poor.” This is a reading from that biblical prophet’s accounting of the biblical “Jubilee,” a fifty-year cycle of debt forgiveness, land redistribution, and a cancellation of indentured servitude caused by debt.
Jubilee is a pretty radical plan for how to get to economic equality in a community, not only in the early Hebrew history, but also in Jesus’ time, and even today.