Tom learns he has been demoted to Director of Communications and Strategy while Jesus has given Peter the job of Campaign Manager. The disciples laugh at Tom’s idea of a lottery to raise funds
Sunday July 23
Sitting on a stone next to a tent in the relative cool of the evening. Didn’t write anything yesterday as we were getting packed up and organised to move out of Mary’s house this morning. During the day we’d been to Magdala’s synagogue for what has become a routine sequence of events: (1) sensible discussions take place; (2) word gets out that we’re here and crowds start to gather; (3) Jesus goes outside to avoid a crush and addresses the crowd; (4) Jesus refuses to do any healings in a show of avoiding controversy, but people still touch him and proclaim their cures anyway, causing controversy; (5) and so on. We even had a lesser version of the Nazareth experience, because he is known in Magdala as Mary’s husband, with people who knew him finding it impossible to believe he was anything other than an idle dreamer who would do more good spending time with his wife than trying to save the world.
Matthias was there of course, and when he started arguing I decided it was time to leave. Only Peter resisted my suggestion, but I had the feeling he only said that because he wanted to be in charge. Jesus must have felt the same, because he then asked Peter to make the decision about when we should go. A few minutes later it became Peter’s decision, and everyone was happy. Except me. Jesus appears to have been bullied into accepting Peter as his number two and spokesman for the disciples, and I don’t think that is consistent with my position as campaign manager.
I told Jesus how I felt when we managed to get away from the others, and he said he needed us both. Peter could look after routine organisational matters, leaving me freer to concentrate on the important high-level stuff and keeping everyone on message. He said the arrangement would benefit both of us as well as him. I wasn’t completely convinced, and I really don’t fancy the idea of working alongside such an opinionated simpleton (Peter, that is) but Jesus can be such a charmer and I ended up giving in, although not before almost falling out over job titles.
Jesus said he’d been thinking about changing my title to director of communications and strategy, something I had suggested a while back. I was giving it serious consideration until he revealed that this would leave him free to give Peter the role of campaign manager. I felt totally betrayed, and told Jesus exactly what I thought about his treacherous scheming. If he doesn’t want me, he should say so. After everything I’ve done for him and the mission. Typical. I will have to watch Peter more closely than ever now.
We moved out this morning and have set up camp near the lake at Capernaum. I think this will become our main base, but the advantage of this nomadic existence is that we can move from town to town much more easily to spread the message as far and wide as possible.
Being here also has the advantage that the fishermen can spend some time looking after their boats, and more importantly, catching fish for us to eat and to sell. Peter is keen to sell cooked fish to the crowds at big events, raising extra cash as well as providing a useful service.
Judas, Bart and I had a chat about other ways to raise funds but the best one is still likely to be making a direct appeal for donations. If people want to find ways to give all their wealth away, giving a substantial sum to their saviour and his team is always going to be a good start.
I had the idea of asking people in the crowd to give us things which can be used as prizes in a lottery. We then sell lottery tickets and keep the money, none of which has to be used to buy prizes because they have all been donated. The others thought I was mad, and wondered why people would want to buy tickets to win back things they had just given away; surely it was better just to ask for the money. Maybe they’re right, but I still think it could add a bit of fun to the process and get people to give a bit extra.
I don’t mind camping during the day, and sleeping in a tent or the open air is much nicer than being stuck in a house in this weather, but the evenings can be so boring. It’s almost completely dark now and I’ll have to stop writing. After that you can either sit round the campfire exchanging ridiculous stories or go to bed. Oh well, the end of the age should be here soon and hopefully the living arrangements will be more comfortable in the new Kingdom. We might even be able to control the temperature of our rooms so it’s always just right. Not so long ago I had a comfortable home and a loving family to return to after a day’s work in a privileged job. This had better be worth it.