Chapter 17 Jubilee Changeover

Many years later, Anne and Harmony were again enjoying an evening walk when they noticed a distinctively tall figure clothed in radiant colours moving at pace towards them. 

“An angel!” gasped Anne.

“Hello Anne. Howdy Harmony. I’ve got some news for you. Jesus is giving notice that the first jubilee period is nearly complete. Your team will gather in Zion in one month’s time. Start preparing your community for transition.”

“Thank you. We understand,” said Harmony, and then turning to Anne, “This means we will be moving on from here. It’s the end of the first fifty-year jubilee period.”

“I imagine some of the women will be really upset to have to part with their friends,” replied Anne, “but we know it’s for their long-term good.”

“Change brings new challenges,” agreed the angel. “The process is designed to bring growth for everyone.  I must go to give the news to Sylvia and Carlos now. Good to see you.”

“Send our love,” called Harmony as the angel headed off down the road.

“Well, there we go!” said Harmony. “Can you believe it’s already fifty years since we came to these villages? It seems to have passed so quickly, don’t you think?”

“For us it did,” replied Anne. “I’m not sure some of the women feel the same, but it’ll be interesting to see how they respond.”

The two friends headed back to their cabins in their respective clearings in the forest, both pondering the task that lay ahead of them but also looking forward to the gathering in Zion.



Despite having lived for years in their shared home, Carlos and Sylvia were unused to anyone knocking on their door late in the evening. Carlos got up from the table where he had been absorbed in recreating some of the sights of Zion using watercolours in his sketchbook. Opening the door, he was overjoyed to be greeted by an angel.

“Time to get ready,” said the angel. “Jesus has called a meeting for Team Thomas in Zion in a month’s time. The first jubilee transition is coming!”

“So, we’re moving on?” said Sylvia, turning to Carlos.

The angel explained a few more details before heading onwards. Sylvia and Carlos sat down together in their front room and began discussing what the jubilee might mean for some of the villagers.

“If Imelda and Dawn are separated, that will put an end to their clothing enterprises,” reflected Sylvia.

“I wonder if Fran and Kelly will end up in the same place?” mused Carlos. “Hard to know which would be better for them?”

“I’m glad we can leave it up to Jesus. Together with Ruach, they will have the best idea of where each person should go next.”


“Where’s Yan?” asked the angel. “I have something to tell you both.”

“He’ll be meditating about now,” said Yvonne. “He lives just round the corner. Let’s go and find him.”

Yan came to his door in a toga looking calm and serene, but his face lit up when he saw the angel, who proceeded to explain the impending transition to them both.

Waving the angel off, the two friends began to marvel at how the time had passed. They had watched Gerty, Eric and the other children grow into wise young people, and they had rejoiced at the progress Johan and Ebo had made in letting go of their prejudices and finding a path towards full reconciliation. 

“We’re going to miss everyone, aren’t we?” said Yan, thoughtfully

Yvonne paused before replying, as tears began to well up in her eyes.

“Oh yes, we will. The love we have for these people is deep, but I believe that, in time, we will be seeing them again.”

“I don’t doubt it,” said Yan gently, also visibly emotional.


“How do you feel?” asked the angel.

“Well, I’ll be glad to see the team,” replied Bull.

“Are you finding it hard here, guys?”

“It’s been challenging,” said Thomas. “Sometimes it’s been hard to remain patient and kind, but we’ve tried to keep the big picture in mind and that’s helped us to endure the process.”

The angel looked around their cabin. “You really have a welcoming home. Do any of the men come and visit you here?”

“We began to get some visitors and some took a few steps forward, but then they’d usually take a few steps back, which is what we expected knowing the type of people that are here. Progress is slow and there is much to work through.”

The angel nodded. “As you know, agape love never insists on its own way. There’s no use in trying to force anything. I’d best be off. I’ve seen all of Team Thomas now, so I’ll head back to Zion and tell Jesus that you have all been notified.”

“Am I allowed to feel excited about the end of this first period?” asked Bull after the angel had left.

Thomas took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. He approached his friend and wrapped his arms around him.

“I love you, brother,” Thomas said gently. “I’m glad you’ve been with me.”

Bull loved a hug and squeezed Thomas back, “I love you too, mate. I wonder what’s next for us?”

They stood shoulder to shoulder and looked out of the window down the valley towards the camp.

“This is going to be interesting,” said Thomas.



“That’s right, it’s meant to feel different,” said Jesus, handing Yvonne the drink he had just made for her. “Kairos time works much better for humans than chronos time. Kairos is about quality, whereas chronos is about quantity – seconds, minutes, hours. In kairos time, you don’t think about how it’s measured, you are just in the moment.”

 “Ok, I think we’re all here,” he said looking around as he made his way to a large table.

Yvonne followed, grateful for the answer to her question about why the fifty years had not felt like a long time.

The team took their places around the table as it was time for the review of the first jubilee.

“Friends, I’m so excited to hear about your first jubilee period!” Jesus was animated and his pleasure at seeing Thomas’ whole team again was clear.

“Thomas and Bull, let’s hear from you.”

“Our community is situated a long way from Zion,” began Bull. “We always felt reassured knowing Cedric, our watchful seraph, was on hand nearby. It’s made up of a couple of hundred tough men from gangs around the world, all of whom have been hardened by their experiences in the Previous Age. Initially they fought amongst themselves to see who would come out on top. There were regular brawls in the town square, but they soon realised it wasn’t getting them anywhere.

In the end, they decided to create temporary committees by drawing names at random. It worked, as none of them wanted to be held responsible for long and it meant everyone got a chance to make their mark. At times things got brutal, and Cedric had to intervene when they tried to expel one of the men from the community. Order seemed to settle after some time, but then the main challenge they faced was boredom. The majority of the men were unwilling to find beauty in each other and their everyday life, which meant they got desperately frustrated.”

“Quite early on, we built a place outside of the settlement so that we could meditate in peace and demonstrate the technique to others,” continued Thomas. “A few of the men were interested in what we were doing and began meditating privately. We’ve begun to see a noticeable maturing in some of the men, and they’ve been sharing with others about how it’s helped them come up with new ideas and get more out of their lives.”

Jesus nodded. “It’s certainly been a challenging assignment for you. These were men with hard hearts. You have set them a good example and modelled agape love in that place. Several in your community have made progress.”

Jesus now turned to Carlos and Sylvia. “And in your village?”

“Life there has mostly reached a stalemate,” began Sylvia. “The past fifty years has seen people start to take small steps towards relationships with one another, but mostly for selfish reasons.”

“Their compulsion to be ‘right’ keeps them from finding deeper connection with each other. They want to constantly impress, which remains the driving force in their everyday lives,” said Carlos. “The only sign of community co-operation has been swapping food items with one another to create more variety in their diets.”

“Working relationships have been established,” added Sylvia. “Some of the women have made use of each other’s talents to set themselves up in business, but the motivation has always been self-serving.”

“The one exception has been Kelly. She has often opened up to us, and she’s made some progress,” concluded Carlos.

“I understand,” said Jesus. “Most of these people will need a similar community for the next jubilee period. Only by consistently reaping the consequences of their self-centred attitudes will they come to recognise their need for change. Kelly will go to a more supportive environment. Her heart is clearly softening.”

Jesus looked around the table. “All of you will be moving to new regions, and you will mostly have new members in your communities. The kindness you show them will keep drawing them to make better choices.”

 “And how have the children come on?” he asked, turning to Yvonne and Yan.

“Well, it’s been an amazing fifty years,” enthused Yvonne. “We’ve watched the children grow up and flourish in the community.”

“Thank you for providing the school and community environment that has allowed each of these children to grow into adults,” said Jesus. “They didn’t get the chance to acquire the skills and the knowledge needed to live as an individual in the Previous Age, but we love to see them mature on the New Earth.”

“It was a privilege to help,” continued Yvonne. “We developed a curriculum that ensured they all made progress in reading, writing and arithmetic, so that they could then go on and research anything that interested them. We also made sure they learnt practical skills for cooking, making clothes, and taking care of their homes and their environment. And it often surprised us that they seemed to know agape love naturally without being taught.”

“Indeed,” said Yan. “They were often the ones who took the lead in the learning process for the adults.”

“It’s the great gift of childhood,” said Jesus with a twinkle in his eye. “Children carry innocence and wisdom into the world and help those who are older discover them again.”

“Many of the adults had carried over various deep-seated issues from their experiences in their Previous Age, and on many occasions it was the children who helped identify these and initiate some of the healing.”

“Yes,” said Yan. “As time went on, many of the adults were able to open up and talk with us, and we have been so pleased to see much progress in their journeys.”

“And people have generally found their work enjoyable and satisfying,” said Yvonne. “Especially once they realised that the New Earth yields abundant crops without the backbreaking work of the Previous Age.”

Jesus leaned back in his chair. “Yes, working to bring in the harvest for everyone is a great joy.”

“Yes, even in our community and despite all its problems, the fields have yielded an abundance of crops,” said Bull.

“The New Earth is able to yield the same in all of its many regions,” Jesus explained. “The providence of agape love makes sure that no one need go hungry. This was how things were in the Previous Age before some people’s greed and desire for resources left others with too little. And how have things been in the villages of Beulah, Anne and Harmony?”

“At the beginning, the women were in a very fragile and vulnerable state,” said Harmony. “It’s taken many years for trust to be built, but we understand that the traumas they experienced will only be healed with patient loving kindness.”

“Some seem to be in an ongoing state of victimhood,” continued Anne. “We recognise they are victims, of course, but we are looking for their identity to be rooted in who they are as whole people now, not as who they once were.”

“Yes, this needs great sensitivity,” agreed Jesus. “Seeing oneself as a victim is deeply connected to shame and hurt, but it can also be linked with pride. It takes humility to release oneself from the need to always identify as a victim. It takes time to believe in a deeper identity, separate from whatever happened in the past.”

“This is the process we are currently in,” continued Harmony. “Some of the women are finding their new sense of self in what they can contribute to the community.”

“I think this is progress,” said Anne, “although it can sometimes seem like avoiding the issues.”

“The lines in our hearts are blurred, but given time, the confidence gained from helping in the community can often help to heal deep issues,” said Jesus “Do you feel any of them are ready to spend time in mixed company yet?”

“I would say that by the end of the next jubilee some of them may be,” replied Harmony.

“Alright, we will place each of them in communities with just women again,” said Jesus. “As for Johan and those in his community, they will be placed in communities appropriate to their current level of maturity.”

Jesus looked around the table once again, taking a moment to look in each person’s eyes.

“And how are you feeling in yourselves? You’re not expected to be superheroes. What are you seeing and learning?”

Harmony checked around the table before speaking first.

“I’m aware of just how different my background is to most of the women I’m working with,” she said thoughtfully. “I’m learning not to assume that anything about my upbringing or education is the same as theirs. I feel that I’m constantly having to check my assumptions.”

“That’s good, Harmony. People’s personalities and past experiences are so varied. The process of learning about others never comes to an end,” said Jesus.

“I’ve felt tested at times,” said Bull. “In the early days I got physically beaten up, and then it moved on to criticism, accusations and all kinds of verbal attacks.”

“I know exactly how that feels,” said Jesus.

“I know you do, and that’s what’s kept Thomas and I going in the darkest times. You didn’t choose sides. You stayed true to the way of agape love – and you were killed for it.”

Jesus nodded slowly. “It’s the price we pay for following the path of agape love and refusing to take part in the power games of the world. When we choose to lay down our power, others may take advantage of us. The authorities crucified me although I had shown unfailing love to them all.”

Bull sighed. “When I think back to all I’ve done and seen, I can see that the way of agape love doesn’t need to punish or seek revenge. Experiencing the consequences of one’s own actions can produce lasting transformation. I must admit at times, though, it has seemed that the men in our community would never change.”

“How are you feeling about it, Thomas?” asked Jesus, turning to his old friend.

“I trust and believe in the process, but it can sometimes feel like there is no kairos time for the men, only chronos time, which can seem to drag. The days can feel very slow, but Bull and I can always find Ruach’s presence with us as we pause and focus. Bull and I seek her in the mornings and in the evenings, and she has never, ever failed to comfort us. She lifts us up and gives us the energy to face the harder days. Our respite periods in Zion have always been a joy too. We have never burned out or lost the plot, because we are so deeply refreshed here. The angels know what we need.”

Jesus laughed “Yes, they are certainly wonderful like that!”

“I’m struck by how deep the trauma of war is,” said Yan. “We all suffered, but we also remember better days. Some of the men in our village died young and violently. They experienced years of war and military training, and so they remember very little else.”

“Many who became soldiers saw things that can shake the soul to its very foundation,” said Jesus. “The young men who died in uniform need much love and understanding, and that’s why I’m so glad you have been there with them, Yan.”

“Are some of them placed in communities with other men who have committed violence, even though they had no choice in being co-opted to fight and obey orders?” asked Yan.

“A few are,” said Jesus. “We understand that many had no choice about what they were made to do. But for some, war created the opportunity for them to satisfy their worst desires, and so we have to be very firm to help them clearly see the consequences of their actions and the suffering they caused.”

“In our village we have seen a lot of pride and bitterness,” said Carlos, “but we have found that this only serves to inspire us to continue living in a different way. Sylvia and I have been very happy in the home we built, and it was really good to involve some of the men from my end of the settlement in the building project. Working together meant that they actually started to communicate with each other after decades of stubborn silence.”

“Whereas the women were arguing and gossiping throughout!” added Sylvia.

“Of course, not all women are like that,” Anne commented. “We found that many in our community kept themselves to themselves for a very long time.”

“Anyone else had people still believing themselves to be addicted to things from the Previous Age?” asked Carlos. “We’ve had trouble from some people demanding all sorts of things and turning the place upside down trying to find cigarettes, alcohol and drugs.”

“Yes, we’ve experienced that too. And we’ve also had folk who find it hard to accept that there’s no sexual desire on the New Earth,” added Yan.

“Their minds are still psychologically programmed to think that they want these things,” explained Jesus. “This won’t change until they are able to fully embrace the present moment and become completely in tune with their resurrection bodies. Then they will see that they are truly free of sexual desire and any previous addictions.”

“So, is it just an illusion that they need these things?” asked Harmony.

“Yes and no,” replied Jesus, “If they are craving something, the craving is real. They just haven’t realised where that craving comes from and that it’s not a genuine physical need. The brain in resurrected bodies is completely new, so these desires are not coming from the brain. They are coming from the mind, which is much more than simply the brain. These are psychological crutches that they believe are part of who they are, but it’s not the truth.”

“One lady in our village tried to smoke leaves from some of the trees in the forest,” remembered Sylvia, “but she soon gave up when she realised it wasn’t giving her any kind of chemical high.”

“It often takes unpleasant experiences for people to understand what is and isn’t good for them,” said Jesus. “Those outside of Zion are in environments that encourage such experiences. It will take some a long time to leave their former behaviours and beliefs behind. They are still perfectly free in their agency to choose for themselves as we do not coerce anyone. It’s possible that in the coming jubilee period some will dig themselves into deeper and darker holes, but we know that others will begin to make much healthier and constructive choices.”

“Will mixing up their communities and locations help them?” asked Anne.

“Moving to a new community every fifty years is good for everyone. It allows each person to ‘restart’ their lives unencumbered by any previous choices they may have made in order to fit in with their neighbours. Sometimes a person desires to change but feels unable to because of the expectations of the people around them. Moving everyone into a new community allows each individual to change the persona they present to others, if they wish to do so.

Some need a new environment to explore their attitude to people they won’t have previously encountered. Despite having made significant progress on one issue, they may have much to learn about another. As people experience different communities, they will learn deep and lasting lessons.

Agape love chooses to see the best in other people – not just your ‘favourite’ people, but everyone. As you know, once you begin to think in this way, you can live anywhere without discriminating, judging or looking down on your neighbour. You have already learned this lesson because you’ve listened to Ruach, who shows you the true value in each person.”

“So, it may take several jubilee periods for people to make progress?” asked Bull.

“I cannot predict how long it will take. However, I’m often surprised by people’s ability to change and grow. For some, it may only take a few jubilee periods to reach the level of understanding and maturity that means they can be welcomed into Zion.”

After the meeting drew to a close, they all helped Jesus clear the table and washed up. There was much laughter and everyone was thrilled to have a week in Zion to visit friends and be refreshed, ready for the challenge of a second jubilee period in a new location and a new community. 

As Jesus waved them off, he prayed silently. “I am so proud of them, Papa. Nothing of this was predetermined, but they have all overcome so much. They carry our heart so beautifully.”

He watched as they descended the steps and headed out into the evening. Soft warm light could be seen in the windows of the dwellings and in the distance steam was rising from the hot springs that provided energy for Zion and all its inhabitants, while shades of blue, mauve and purple ranged across the sky.

Jesus stood, looking over the heavenly scene before him. A moment later he was joined by Ruach.

“I stand in awe of what these people have gone through,” said Jesus quietly. “When we created humanity, we understood the risk that they would choose their independence forever and never want to come to us.”

“They are our children,” Ruach replied. “They will all come home eventually.”

“Sometimes, I wish I could just go and gather them all up and have them here with us now,” said Jesus.

“I know. All in the fullness.”