Fifty years holds a special significance in the Bible. After 49 years, there was to be a sabbatical year, a year of rest, liberty, justice, forgiveness, and renewed attention to family.
The word “jubilee” in the Hebrew Scripture is from the word “yobel” meaning a ram’s horn or trumpet. If someone announced the Jubilee, they would summon the congregation through this means. Jubilee was mainly a time of celebration, giving thanks for all God had done in the past and trusting God for an abundant future.
I am in Bangkok to celebrate a Jubilee marriage, that of Rev. Dr Thawesak and Mrs. Orathai Mahachavaroj. God has blessed them with children, grandchildren, lifelong friends, and many sisters and brothers in Christ.
Scripture teaches us that faithful companionship is God’s ideal. God calls two together, makes them one, and then empowers them to uphold their vows when the way is hard. Christian marriage is Jubilee, for there is great liberation in focusing love and life alongside the one God provided. When married persons sustain a deep gratitude for their spouse, they are free to live out their calling with joy and great support.
The Mahachavaroj marriage has been a faithful example to thousands of other couples. They have been like lamps shining in the darkness, and they have encouraged others to live in generative ways. They have not simply multiplied family members, but they have multiplied their witness to the Gospel, which is all about Jubilee, as Jesus attests. They have helped many ministries flourish through their wisdom and resources.
This marriage is surely pleasing to God. They offer themselves to God and to others in kindness and service. Their imitation of Christ calls them to live in love. They have been doing that for 50 years, and the world is better for it!
Central joins this celebration with gratitude.
Molly T. Marshall