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June Village Green Corner -2002

Give it a Rest!

This month the country will be celebrating our Queen's Golden Jubilee. Have you ever thought about where the word Jubilee comes from? In Leviticus 25 God tells his people:
    "The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you;...."
In fact God tells the Israelites to leave their land fallow every seven years so the land itself can have a "Sunday", a year of rest, during which all local people, livestock and wild animals are allowed to eat whatever happens to grow on it. The jubilee comes after seven times seven years when a trumpet is sounded throughout the land, the land is left un-worked and liberty is proclaimed to all inhabitants. This is a command that not only allows the land to restore its own fertility without the input of the synthetic fertilizers used today, but also reminds us that, ultimately, the earth belongs to God. In verse 23 God says:
    "The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants."
Next time you are out enjoying the sunshine in your garden, why not consider whether you would treat it differently if you thought you were one of God's tenants, given responsibility over this bit of His earth. Taken together, private gardens make up a larger area than all our National Trust land, so what we all do in our own little patches can have a huge impact on the survival of our native species.

June Top Tip: Mark this Jubilee year by helping to restore a tiny bit of British countryside in your own back garden. Cut out the chemicals, try to plant indigenous trees and plants so they can provide food and shelter for native insects, fungi and birds. Convert a bit of lawn to a flower meadow, dig a pond, or even just leave a corner to grow wild - nettles, brambles are good for butterflies and a pile of logs will provide a home for many of God's creatures, from cute hedgehogs and fungi to rather less appealing, but just as important, creepy-crawlies, which are food for hegehogs, frogs and birds..

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