1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 (NRSV)
Verse 9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Verse 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.
Verse 11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. Verse 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. Verse 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.
“Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes—How do you measure, measure a year?” In this song from Rent, the idea of measuring a year in the clockwork passage of minutes gives way to more evocative measures—sunsets, cups of coffee, laughter, even strife, and finally in “seasons of love.” This is how Paul measured his relationship with the Thessalonians—in abounding love, deep affection, great joy, and a longing to be together, face to face. During these many months of pandemic, we too have longed to be together, face to face in community with those we love. It is God who sustains us and who directs our way to one another. Paul’s word of blessing to the Thessalonians is also ours, that we increase and abound in love and that our hearts be strengthened in holiness as we anticipate the coming of the Lord Jesus with all the saints.
God of abiding presence, direct our way to you that we may increase in love and share that abounding love with those near and far. Amen.