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.” (I Thessalonians 3:9 – 10)

Paul is much braver than I, beloved reader, in thinking that he can “restore whatever is lacking in your faith.” First, how do I know (or how did he know?) what is lacking in your faith. Okay, maybe Paul did know. Maybe a reading of the entire book (or at least significant portions) would yield up an answer to that question. Second, though, this is to be an Advent passage and it does not seem appropriate to question possible lack of faith. If, beloved reader, you are at all involved or following Advent – then one can safely assume you have enough faith for the season. But the face to face part, that would be nice.

“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.” (Verse 11)

For Paul, again I am assuming, this would mean seeing them in person, that is face to face. One of the things I remember about Advent as a child is the weekly church services that gathered my church family together. During seminary that was also a wondrous four weeks. In fact any and all church times during Advent were good!

“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.” (Verse 12)

That is another memory from Advents past, the love that was felt during the season. Faith, beloved reader, is nurtured by love. Love of the Lord God and from the Lord God. Love amongst family and friends. And love within one’s faith circle. And for it to increase! Well, the blessings just abound!

“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.” (Verse 13)

Leave it to Paul to work in the salvation and redemption motif. Again, not very Advent-y. But then in Paul’s time it was not yet a “thing”. I am glad though that it is, beloved reader. And I am glad to have this chance to write/speak to these passages during Advent. May your Advent path be filled with the direction of the Holy Presence, love most abounding, and holiness! Shalom & Selah!