Years back I heard 'the United Church would not be a voice to be reckoned with for another thirty years', and recognized the voice of my Lord. My first response was 'Lord, no one is supposed to know when you are coming back but you have just intimated that you are not coming back for at least thirty years'.

We've yet seven years before those years come.

Seven years was a time of release in the old testament...

"At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, because the LORD's release has been proclaimed." [deu15:1-2]
" the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field or prune your vineyard." [lev25:3-4]

It was a time of starting over for persons and for the land.

After seven weeks of seven years, in the fiftieth year, was a jubilee...

"And you shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall be to you forty-nine years. Then you shall send abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the day of atonement you shall send abroad the trumpet throughout all your land. And you shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants; it shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his family." [lev25:8-10]

"The land shall not be sold in perpetuity..." [lev25:23] that a people not be enslaved and forever deprived of inheritance.

But consider, in seven years means that we are also at a seven year interval right now.

What do you need to release, to forgive, to reconcile that you might also be freed?

Often what we seek is found where least expected - "...the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it" [deu30:14] - as it were starting over again.

There is much that needs starting over again as we journey in faith.

Jesus called it a new birth - despite its critics, I have a profound hope for this church.