Chapter 27 The Second Jubilee Reviewed

“You’re a talented chef,” said Jesus, picking up the last dish from the draining board. “Thank you for cooking for us, Bull.”

“Excellent meal,” agreed Sylvia. “We’ll leave you guys to it.”

Jesus nodded, smiling warmly at Thomas’ team who had come back together for the end-of-jubilee feast. The others headed out to enjoy a walk around the local area, leaving Thomas and Bull with Jesus for an evaluation of the last fifty years. Jesus poured some fresh lemonade into glasses on a tray.

“Let’s go into the sitting room,” he said. Bull and Thomas put the last of the clean crockery away and followed him.

“Tell me, Jesus, what was your thinking behind placing Angush in the same community as Yuri and the others?” asked Bull. “I must admit I’m still rather perplexed after living the last fifty years with them.”

Jesus smiled and handed the glasses to the two men as they took their seats. “Angush had a heart that was still immersed in evil. He needed to be confronted by his peers – men who came from a similarly violent background. In the first jubilee, it was clear that Yuri was still attached to violence and delighted in the suffering of others. Do you remember when Cedric had to intervene?”

Thomas and Bull nodded.

“The only way Yuri could come to recognise the darkness in his own heart was to meet someone even more attached to evil and violence than himself. Through meeting and talking with Angush, Yuri realised that deep down he was disgusted by what Angush had done in the Previous Age and his lack of remorse. This was the starting point that enabled him to see himself differently and to see who he could be.”

“And Angush?” asked Bull.

“Angush had never once been challenged about what he had done. After Yuri began to stand up to him, he began to deconstruct the narrative he had created for himself. He was used to being liked by others and making people laugh along with him.”

“I see,” said Bull. “So when the other men began to call out his attitude and the laughter stopped, he had to ask himself who he really was and what his life was about. He became very withdrawn and quiet when people in the community turned against him, and it’s been sad to see how he’s become increasingly embittered and lonely as the years have gone by.”

Jesus nodded. “Yes, but it’s often the case that when someone doubles down, they go on to experience a breakthrough in their next environment. Angush must understand that his inability to recognise the suffering of others stems from his upbringing and the culture of his family. As a young child, he was taught that the only things that mattered were wealth and power, and that anyone outside the family was there to be exploited. Emotions were seen as weakness and crying was met with physical punishment. In such an environment, it’s not surprising that he grew up emotionally detached and without empathy for those living beyond the walls of the family compound.

Angush has now discovered that people find his behaviour and attitudes repulsive, because, unlike them, he wasn’t driven by the need to survive. He’s now experiencing the pain of rejection and loneliness. He will have to learn to accept these feelings before he can begin to appreciate that other people also have feelings and can suffer. It may be that he comes running to the open arms of love faster than others because, scratching around in the dust of his former value system, he discovers he has nothing left of any worth. Sometimes in our loneliness, when there are no other voices, one can sense the Ruach’s whisper more clearly.

In this past jubilee period, Angush and Yuri have been a mirror to each another. I didn’t plan the exact course of events that occurred, but when mirrors are held up, there is often confrontation. Angush will spend the next jubilee period in a small group with other men who perpetrated the sexual abuse of children. They cannot yet recognise their actions as abuse because they refuse to feel what their victims felt. Eventually, these mirrors and flashbacks will begin to break down their defences. But tell me more about Yuri. How is he now?”

 “Yuri was uncomfortable with being hailed a hero by most of the other men,” Thomas reported. “He had attacked Angush out of pure disgust, which was how many others in the community felt about him and his boasting about trafficking children. They wanted to make Yuri the leader of their community, but Yuri suggested the committee system that he had seen at work in the first jubilee and instead kept his head down and focused on working on the new buildings. After a while he came to us to talk about the turmoil that was going on inside him. He regretted attacking Angush, but that encounter caused him to rethink his entire life in the Previous Age. He has realised that what he did stemmed from an inbuilt desire to survive. Yes, it was an extremely twisted desire that meant killing and exploiting anyone who posed a threat, but he now has some self-understanding and is questioning his previous ideas of justice and what is right and wrong. He’s still stubborn, but I do believe he’s turned a corner.” 

“Yes,” added Bull, “he took his turn when his name was picked for the committee and he did his best to help the other men care for their animals. Because he’d been one of the first to be given a resurrected companion, he felt healthy pride in helping the other men care for theirs.”

“Gulag was always going to be one of the keys to unlocking Yuri,” said Jesus with a smile. “Yuri’s next environment is one in which he will be faced with issues of justice and what he thinks is fair and unfair – and he couldn’t have begun to understand these things without having met Angush.”

The friends continued to discuss other people and matters from the community before Thomas and Bull bade Jesus farewell and headed out to enjoy the rest of their day in Zion.


Next into the sitting room were Yvonne and Yan. Jesus fetched them drinks and suggested they move out to sit on the balcony where they could enjoy the view that stretched out far across the landscape of Zion. In the near distance, clusters of buildings interspersed with lush vegetation basked in the bright colours of the sky and birdsong provided a perfect background to the scene.

They settled down in comfortable chairs around a small table and began their review.

“Johan has made huge progress in understanding how he was indoctrinated by the fascist regime he grew up under,” began Yvonne. “He‘s been able to see that many of his attitudes and prejudices were the result of his schooling and his experience in the army. In turn, he’s been courageous in confronting prejudice when it was directed at him. He was able to show love and compassion toward his ‘accuser’, Chester, and helped him to see that he needed to let go of his own deeply ingrained prejudices.”

“Johan has always had a sweet and tender heart, just like many of those caught up in the horrors of war,” said Jesus. “War can crush tenderness and harden hearts, but witnessing the destruction brought about when human desires become twisted and unchecked can also create the desire to embrace reconciliation and peace in this age. When so much is so wrong, it produces a hunger and thirst for what is good and right. It means that the suffering created by war is not without its redemptive qualities.”

Yan leaned forward. “There is one thing I am concerned about for Johan though. He and Chester are always immersed in their history books and are rarely seen in the community. When they do appear, they can rather overwhelm people with their knowledge. It feels like we’ve lost them to their studying.”

“The most important thing is that they’ve let go of their hate towards themselves, their experiences and each other though, isn’t it?” asked Yvonne.

“That’s true,” Jesus agreed. “But when you discover something that has great importance for your life, it can sometimes lead to a judgemental attitude toward those who don’t share the same approach. It’s likely they will be taken up with their studies for a while longer yet. That is due to their personalities and their calling. As they mature and progress, they have the potential to become fine teachers for many others.

Too much time in books and the pursuit of knowledge can lead people away from listening to Ruach, so it’s important to encourage them in their meditation and contemplation. The pursuit and exchange of knowledge is a wonderful thing, but it only brings revelation to the human heart when it is rooted in agape love. So have patience with them over the next few jubilees, and I believe they will both bear much fruit as the age unfolds.”


It was now Harmony and Anne’s turn to talk with Jesus. 

“I fancy a walk,” said Jesus. “Shall we go down to see the flamingos?”

They set off down the gentle incline to the lake, a profusion of fragrant flowers lining their path.

“I’m buzzing with excitement when I think of Adilah and Eshe,” said Harmony. “Those two are just so amazing!”

“They certainly are,” laughed Jesus. “What are your thoughts on their journey?”

“We have seen many moments of healing and the restoration of trust. Sometimes there have been obvious breakthroughs, and sometimes they would have been imperceptible without Ruach’s guidance,” Harmony began.

“Our women have found much comfort and understanding through sharing their stories and their lives with one another,” said Anne. “The mix of different cultures and personalities brought new challenges, but these women already possessed much empathy and with some gentle guidance soon found connection with one another.

Towards the end of the jubilee, Adilah shared with us that she felt ready to spend time with men again in her next community. We had encouraged her to connect with memories of her father, who was a kind and gentle man, and this had helped her realise that not all men are violent and abusive.”

“One of the major breakthroughs for Adilah came when she realised that physical harm is something that can no longer threaten your life or even your wellbeing,” continued Harmony. “There was a day when she was carrying a pile of clothes on one of the elevated walkways in the trees and tripped. She fell to the ground, far enough below to break both of her arms and shatter a knee. She was in pain for only a few minutes, as her resurrection body soon repaired itself. That was a huge boost to her confidence, knowing that nothing on the New Earth could permanently hurt her and that all injuries would be healed.”

“Yes, she seemed much more adventurous and open to new experiences when I next saw her,” agreed Anne. “And the same has been true for many of the other women in the community.”

“This is one of the greatest freedoms that people experience here on the New Earth,” Jesus replied with a broad smile. “Papa has ensured that we will always have agile and resilient bodies throughout the ages to come. I well remember the joy of this freedom when I was raised from death.”

“I have a question about Adilah,” said Anne. “Might it be possible for her to meet her father when she joins her next community?”

“Tell me what you think first,” Jesus replied.

“Well, I know she would love to be reunited with her father, but I can see how easy it would be for her to depend on him and not learn to trust other men.”

“Yes,” agreed Jesus, “it’s easy for people to default to a childlike connection with parents, especially if they lost them at a young age. Adilah needs to experience equal relationships with men, where she is neither a daughter nor a victim. For her, and for many like her, relating to men needs careful reconstruction.”

“But something tells me it won’t be long until she sees her parents again,” said Harmony with a smile.

“I think you’re right,” Jesus replied. “Her circumstances in the next jubilee should prepare her very well for that reunion. I have always said that those like Adilah who were seen as last in the Previous Age would be first in the kingdom.”

“But I feel that she may need some time away from Eshe,” Harmony added. “It seems harsh, but they need to be separate for a while in order to establish and strengthen their own individual identities.”

“I agree,” said Jesus. “Adilah needed to spend the first two jubilees with her sister, but now that they are both growing in confidence, they must discover life apart. No one in Zion is dependent on anyone else in any way. They will understand that they will see each other again soon. Thank you for your care and patience with both of these precious women.”

 “And Adilah was patient with me, too,” said Harmony.

“I know,” said Jesus with a wink.

By now the friends had reached the wide, shallow lake, where scores of flamingos were standing in the water, their forms perfectly reflected in its calm surface. They stayed for a while, savouring the moment of profound peace, before heading back to Jesus’ house discussing other matters from the community.


“Sylvia and Carlos! Come in!”

The two hugged Jesus and sat down while he poured some fresh tea.

“I’m so happy to know that Fran is learning to let go,” said Jesus, kicking off the discussion. “Jumping into the river like that tells me that she’s beginning to allow herself to have fun.”

“She is one of the few,” said Sylvia. “Many of the other women are still clinging on to past resentments and sabotaging their own progress.”

“Resentment is a deep-seated vicious circle in the human heart and it produces nothing but misery,” sighed Jesus. “People are resentful that they feel resentful, and so it goes on. It needs great courage to break that circle and choose a different response, but it can take just one moment of connection, laughter and joy. It seems that by jumping in the river, Fran chose that moment in connecting with Chesa. But I hear things have not progressed smoothly since then.”

“No, sadly they haven’t,” replied Sylvia. “Fran felt that she had made a new ‘best friend’ and was too demanding of their relationship. She wanted to talk with Chesa every day and do everything together, but it was too much pressure and Chesa ended up backing off and avoiding her. When Fran realised what was happening, she felt rejected and reverted to her default mode of resentment and hatred. She feels that this episode with Chesa makes a mockery of her life on the New Earth.”

“I see,” said Jesus. “It shows why the course of jubilees must run for as long as it takes for lessons to be learned. It’s sad that Fran focused all her attention on one person and didn’t try to make wider friendships, but in a community full of women who are used to being isolated and bitter, it’s not so straightforward.”

“But Chesa did learn from this experience with Fran,” said Carlos, continuing the story. “She realised that she couldn’t continue to live as a self-sufficient island but also that a single friendship can easily become too intense. So she began to be more friendly and forthcoming with some of the other women. She was initially unsure about making friendships with non-Buddhists, especially after what had happened with Fran, but she came to see that taking time every day to greet her neighbours and making the effort to initiate conversations helped build trust. It was less intense than with Fran and more effective in the longer term.”

“Trust takes time,” agreed Jesus. “People are complex, and when someone moves too fast, it can be too much.”

“I can imagine that Chesa will continue to grow in openness with others in her next community,” said Carlos. “But what’s next for Fran?”

“Fran will be placed in another village with opportunities for friendship. It’s my hope that she will develop greater self-awareness in this next jubilee period, but no one can force her to relinquish her certainty that she is right and that everyone else is wrong. Those from the affluent West often struggle to recognise that love is not a transaction whereby we give in order to receive. Agape love is an active choice that desires the best for another person without demanding anything in return. But take heart, everyone recognises their need for agape love eventually.”

As Sylvia and Carlos continued to review various aspects of life in the village, evening drew on and the rest of the team returned to Jesus’ house for another meal and time together. They stayed in Zion for several days, resting, meeting up with friends and having fun in preparation for their next jubilee assignments.