Tom and Jesus discuss the timing of the end of the world over a cup of wine. Peter discusses it with his voices.
Thursday August 17
Had a tearful parting with Hannah this morning, but at least it was on good terms. She has agreed to think about joining the mission from New Year, on the understanding that if the Son of Man arrives before then she will have to take her chances. In return I have agreed that if the world doesn’t actually end I will start making moves to find a job and return to normal family life.
When I arrived in Magdala just before sunset, Peter was already there, a day early. He had come on ahead of the other fishermen on foot, leaving them to bring the boat tomorrow, because his voices had driven him to impress on Jesus how urgent it was to prepare for the Son of Man’s arrival on Yom Kippur. As if Jesus needed any encouragement.
We sat up trying to make plans, but we can’t even agree on where to go to await the end. Peter’s voices are telling him to go to Jerusalem, to be near the Temple, where God will be present for the festivities. I don’t see why we can’t stay here, particularly as Jesus is hardly known in Jerusalem and all his followers come from round here. Jesus is torn between the two. He finds the idea of being near God’s presence in Jerusalem very compelling, and of course it appeals to his vanity, but on the other hand he can’t see how to convince all his followers to go there, and he’s sure the Son of Man will know where to find us anyway and will steer his cloud and entourage in our direction.
In the end I said that the best preparation we could hope to make was to save as many people as possible before the end came, and we should concentrate on preaching and reaching out instead of turning our thoughts inward and worrying all the time. Jesus cheered up at that, and he and I relaxed over a cup of wine while discussing ideas for a speech about how worrying is a complete waste of effort. Peter couldn’t cope with having drink around and went out to his tent, discussing his own ideas with his voices as he went.