Pop Pop Epistle #137 – About Cousins

Dear Grandkids,

Just about the time that I was getting used to having 8 grandkids, Tucker and Danielle inform us that #9 will be joining the clan in July. It’s a good thing that I am still a young man – with the strength of an elephant and the memory of a lion. Or is it the other way around?

A couple of the things that Nona and I love is that all you cousins are reasonably close in age and that you enjoy playing together. We are going to do our best as grandparents to create experiences that will foster great affection for one another and awesome memories that you can share together.

There are at least two instances of cousins in Scripture that are specifically pointed out and worth taking note of because of the influence that resulted due to the relationship.

1) Esther 2:7 says, “Mordecai was the legal guardian of his cousin Hadassah (that is, Esther), because she didn’t have a father or mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was extremely good-looking. When her father and mother died, Mordecai had adopted her as his own daughter.” If you don’t already know the story, God used Mordecai’s influence on Esther, his cousin, to save the Jewish people from a pogrom. It was Mordecai who told Esther, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther then used her influence with the king to expose the man who was plotting to kill all the Jews. Grandkids, it may very well be your words of encouragement to one of your cousins that the Lord uses to compel them to do heroic things.

2) Colossians 4:10 says, “Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him).” Perhaps you know the backstory here as well. Mark accompanied Paul and Barnabas on one of their missionary journeys. Somewhere along the way he got home sick and left and went back home. When Mark wanted to rejoin the team, Paul wanted nothing to do with him. But Barnabas was willing to stop traveling with Paul in order to give his cousin a second chance. It greatly encouraged young Mark – who would go on in future years to write what we now know as the Gospel According to Mark, one of the most famous books ever written. It probably would not have happened without some serious cousin love.

So as you grow up and spend time together and even when you are grown with kids of your own – love one another and look our for one another and lift one another up when they are down. I have no doubt that the Lord will use you greatly in each other’s lives.

Never ever forget that you are very loved!

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