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(Matthew 4:12-13)

Jesus made his home in Capernaum.
His mother stayed in Nazareth,
along with his sisters and brothers.
They talked in low murmurs
about their eccentric older brother;
the girls were married,
most of the boys too,
with children of their own.
Family gatherings had been good
times of fun and celebration;
with Jesus, everybody’s favourite uncle.
At thirty he should have taken a wife;
should be thinking about his own children.
Perhaps that was his intention,
but why Capernaum, and not Nazareth?
Surprised, bewildered,
and somewhat hurt by his departure,
the family held a crisis meeting
and agreed that a delegation
should go to the seaside town
to persuade him to return home.

“It’s good to see you,”
he whispered as he embraced each one.
“Yes, I will be staying.
Of course I miss you,
but no, I’m not lonely,” he said,
as he introduced his new friends.
They wept, spoke of his mother’s tears,
and pressed him for further explanation.
“The time had come,”
was all he offered.

© Ken Rookes

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