Empowering Generosity

"The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are strangers and sojourners with Me."  Lev 25:23

The Old Testament law regulated the sale of land and ensured that no family permanently lost their land through misfortune. If anyone had to sell their agricultural land because of some disaster or misfortune in the family, in the Jubilee of the 50th year, the land would be returned to the original owners. This rule, however, did not apply to land in towns which was used for housing (vs 29-30). These could be redeemed within a year, after which they belonged permanently to the new owners.

Why this restriction on the sale of farm land? It was so that no family was permanently consigned to be bonded labourers. 

If a family sold their land, they then had no means of production to earn money to buy it back. They would have to work as landless labourers on the land of others. Without land they could never get out of this situation, and if this was allowed to continue, a few families would end up controlling all the land and the rest would be daily labourers. So, this law ensured that they would get their land back after a time and be free again.

God stipulated that the means of production should never leave a family permanently. All families should be able to live with dignity and respect.

Today, the means of production is knowledge, and it is important that if we believe in the values of God, we need to see that every family has the right to a proper education. This is recognized by many governments, and laws to provide education for all have been passed in most countries, including India.

In the past, the church had taken the lead in providing education to the people, but today the scenario is very different. In this new scenario, the church needs to see that its members have access to education, and one of the social action services provided by the church should be to help the poor have access to education.

Who has been empowered with the means of production by you in the last year?