What if Jesus had not gone into the desert?
If instead he had turned away
from the pain, suffering and responsibility,
and opted not to wear the crown of thorns,
deciding that the price demanded was just too great.
What if he had said,
"Great idea, Dad,
but I want to settle down
and continue to run the family business.
I want to get married
and enjoy the delights of physical intimacy,
become a father and raise a family,
to pass on the business to.
Keeping Joseph's name going
- even though I understand
that due to some freak of genetics,
I do not share his human DNA.
I feel I have a debt to repay.
After all he brought me up as if I was his own.
He bore the brunt of whispers and innuendo,
protected my mother to his dying day
- it was his destiny
and surely part of the legacy
surely I must inherit
as his eldest son?
He left behind everything,
firstly to travel to Bethlehem
at the summons on a census
And then we became refugees,
fleeing the tide of blood
of slaughtered sons of David.
No, don't count on me!
"What would Aunt Liz have made of your plans, Lord?
If she had known that the child she longed for
was to live out his adult life in some of the most inhospitable areas,
a hermit and unpredictable preacher
Declaring the importance of a repentance,
that couldn't be paid for by coins,
but only by a change of heart and mind.
To be the warm up act for another
and then to forfeit his life,
at the whim of a power sinner
who asked for his head on a dinner
"Sometimes, Lord, don't you think that my family has given enough?"
Yet, this is the legacy that we inherit,
the calling we respond to.
To give and not count the cost,
to speak out for the hurting and the lost
and not to turn away
but to walk towards our own cross
whatever God ordains that it shall be.
I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. Galatians 2:20