I am the fourth grandchild on my Mother’s side of the family. While my birth may have been ordinary, I was born into an extraordinary family. A family who always welcomed and lived out true hospitality. A family where each person was different, yet in that uniqueness brought unity. A family where music, laughter, inspiration, tales of “growing up” and walks to the river were available in abundance. A family that was a family.
My grandfather, Grandpa Rich as we knew him, was born second of seven siblings. They were raised on a beautiful farm near Irvine, Kentucky; their father the school master, their mother a homemaker. Through the years the Richardson children remained close. Even as they went their separate ways as adults, there were reunions at the family farm where memories were remembered and made.
Keeping in touch with family in our electronic age is fast and simple. Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, and Skype have reduced the miles to mere inches. Mail delivery from days to seconds.
However, my Grandfather and his siblings used a form of communication that is of the past. It was called the Round Robin. A large envelope would arrive. Inside would be news, stories, adventures, and photos of each sibling and their family. After reading the contents, each sibling would remove the last items they placed in the envelope and would replace them with the most recent news from their family. The envelope was on its way to the next sibling. The anticipation, waiting for the next Round Robin, was exciting. What would the postman bring today?
A letter. Isn’t it wonderful to receive a letter in the mail. A real, paper letter with a stamp on the envelope? It is of the past, for certain, but what a treasure we have lost through the use of the electronic gadgets of today.
Paul speaks of a letter in 2 Corinthians 3. The image that Paul wants to convey is so interesting to me. He mentions that the believers in Corinth were his letter of recommendation, written on his heart. Then he goes on to mention a few more things about this group of believers.
- They were a letter from Christ (v. 3) – by their actions, they showed to whom they belonged—Christ.
- Known and read by everybody (v. 2) – their transformed lives could be seen by anyone who came in contact with them.
- Not written with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God (v. 3) – ink fades, but what lived within them remained forever.
- Written not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of human hearts (v. 3) – a contrast between the old covenant and the new covenant.
I pray that you will look at yourself as a letter from Christ. I pray that others might look at you and see that you belong to Him. I pray that your transformed life might point others to Jesus through the writings on your heart.
There is no longer a Round Robin within my family. It’s long gone. But the connection is stronger than ever. It is the family bond that will never loosen its grip on the Richardson clan. A family that is a family.
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,