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Many of us have been watching with a mixture of concern and sympathy the unfolding saga of the Sussexes, Harry and Meghan, as they forge a new purpose and place for their lives, and how that relates to their position within the royal family.
The concern some of us feel relates to how the publicity is impacting on the elderly Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. It is obvious, too, that the combination of being celebrity and royalty puts great pressure on the young couple.
One of the Bible passages that I like to read in the period after Christmas relates to when the boy Jesus was taken by Mary and Joseph to the Jerusalem temple.
By this time Jesus was aged 12 and would have begun studying the scriptures. For some reason, the boy Jesus stays behind at the temple, becoming separated from the rest of the party who were setting off back on the 800-mile journey to Nazareth. Whether this was due to their oversight or his is not clear.
Clearly distressed, Mary and Joseph return to the temple and find Jesus sitting among the Jewish teachers, asking and answering questions.
The answer Jesus gives to his mother’s rebuke is the first recorded words we have from him: ‘Did you not know that I had to be in my Father’s house’?
Even at that tender age, Jesus was thinking for himself, discovering what his purpose would be.
There are times when one person will see a different road opening up, and those around him or her will need patience and trust.
Rev Dr Malcolm Kinnear,
Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Parish Churches