I have eight first cousins. We grew up so closely associated, that I would consider any of them my brother or sister. There were 10 of us, total–including me and my sister, 5 boys, 5 girls. Perfect:)
We’re all fiercely protective of one another, even if it’s one of us that is in the wrong. Seriously. We have a saying in our family: “we can mess with each other, but no one else better dare”. And that’s exactly how it is.
My cousins were my first friends.
My earliest memories include them.
We went through hard times together. We saw each other through.
We protected each other.
I grew up knowing that at least 9 other people in this world, had my back.
And in the environment that I grew up in—that was important to me.
They were my security blanket, my compadres, my gang, my people.
I love my people.
We went to church together. We learned about God together.
We sang together.
We grew up, together.
Many of my best memories, include my cousins.
I got into the most trouble—with my cousins:)
We’re all grown, now. All of us, with children. All of us in different walks of life. We’ve drifted. Some of us have moved from home. Some of us haven’t. Some of us don’t even like each other anymore, and that’s okay. We still have each other’s back.
I thank God for my cousins.
This Easter week, like every Easter week, leads me to the story of Jesus.
Isaiah the prophet wrote about the coming of the Savior and also about the man that would “clear the road for him”.
That road clearer: John the Baptist.
Born to parents that were “righteous in God’s eyes”. Parents that knew from the moment of conception, who their child was to be: John, “the Lord is gracious”.
The first prophet in 400 years…
John’s crowd was huge, full of repenters, full of eager hearts, open ears..
And there he was, fulfilling his purpose, preparing the way, baptizing, eating locusts, sleeping in the wilderness, and saying “But someone is coming soon who is greater than I am–so much greater that I’m not worthy even to be his slave and carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”.
And then his cousin walks up…
And John knew.
He saw the Spirit descend upon Him.
And he baptized Him.
Lift your family up.
Pray for one another.
Put them before yourself.
Love one another.