Anticipating Reunion

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face.

1 Thessalonians 3:10

One of the highlights of the holiday season is getting together with friends and family. We hear “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” on the radio and think of our loved ones. Couples dating long distance eagerly look forward to reuniting under the mistletoe. It’s the season for making trips over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house.

Part of the anticipation of Advent is not only for the coming of Jesus, but also for the reuniting and gathering of God’s people. When Christians await Jesus, they do so together, in community. And that shared experience can be one of joy and delight.

For many of us, however, relationships are complicated at the holidays. We find ourselves caught between competing expectations and responsibilities. One family wants us to be there for Christmas Eve, but another set of relatives gather the same night. Being with our extended relatives can be stressful, especially if they do not share our same values and convictions. Or it may be costly or logistically difficult to be together in person.

Paul has an answer for this: Prayer.

In his letter to the Thessalonians, Paul first prays for the actual opportunity to reunite—“may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you” (v. 11). If there are barriers to being together, pray that God will make a way, that flights will go on sale, that there won’t be delays at the airport or ice on the roads. Pray for safety of travel, so that we can be together with those most important to us.

Second, Paul prays for relational health. He asks the Lord to make them “increase and abound in love for one another and for all” (v. 12). It’s not selfish to pray that a family gathering will be loving and peaceful! Pray that relatives will be kind to one another, that they will treat each other respectfully, that cousin Kelly will not be mean-spirited to her ex and that Uncle Bart will be sober.

Finally, Paul prays for character of integrity and witness. It’s not just that we should be on our best behavior; it’s that our hearts should become more holy and blameless in our interactions with others. May our family gatherings actually make us better people—more loving, more grateful, more giving—and help others see the generosity and love of our Savior.


Who are you looking forward to seeing soon? Who are the people that make holiday gatherings difficult for you? How might these three prayer suggestions make a difference in your family this year?


God of all joy, may this festive season be marked by delight in our friends and family. May our relationships be filled with love and peace, so that all may know the grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.


How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 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. 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.

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13