"Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you."
Paul waits to get together with his friends with the sure and certain hope that one day they will all be a part of Jesus' welcoming party when He comes again.
A window into this text for me today as I write this is the Rahmann sisters. I met them while doing interim work some years ago in New Jersey. I was schmoozing among the worshipers before the service and I came across two women I didn't know. "Are you twins?" I inquired. Their spirits came alive and they began to giggle. "No, we are sisters, but we are not twins." Then one pointed to the other, "She is older than I am."
That exchange began a friendship that lasts to this day. When I am in New Jersey or New York I always stop to have dinner with the "Twins." They have schooled me in the history of the northwest corner of New Jersey. Pictures of my youngest grandson hang on their walls. I even have a bluebird house in their wooded homestead. (I have a cross on "my" house to attract the more religious bluebirds.)
One of the Twins is now in a serious battle with cancer. I pray, as did Paul, that the Lord will direct my way to visit my friends. They have a wonderful pastor who is my friend, but I want to personally visit them. I have no doubt that we all will be a part of Jesus' welcoming committee, but I need to see them now. So, I wait.
I Thessalonians 3:9-13 (NRSV)
9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you?
10 Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.
11 Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.
12 And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.
13 And 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.