Devotion Text: 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
As a parent of young children, I’ve begun to learn exactly what I put my parents through on all those cross-country trips as a kid. Sure, it was different in those days. Now instead of packing up the eight-seat conversion van like my dad did, I drive my two sons only as far as the airport and let the good people of Delta or AirTran take us the rest of the way. But, whether flying or driving, plenty goes into planning for a trip–especially with children. Luckily, I have my wonderful wife to
help me do all the work herself, otherwise I’d be lost.
When it comes to our life’s greatest journey–our journey home to be with our Heavenly Father forever–preparation is just as important. In his letter to the church in Thessolonica, Paul writes about how earnestly he wants the Thessalonians to prepare, how he prays for their preparation and how he longs to be there that he may help them prepare.
In very much the same way I would be lost trying to take a cross-country trip alone with my two sons, Paul knows that no human could get through this life alone. Our walk Heavenward is too difficult to do alone, so (miles away) he writes to help those people prepare. Thousands of years away, his words still hold true for us.
We still need the prayers of our fellow believes to strengthen us for the way. So too, we pray for others. We still need “God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us” just as Paul did. We still need the love and fellowship of one another to make our journey pleasant and bearable.
It is with this help, this strength, this love–from God and from our fellow Christians–that we enter the Advent season. We focus not only on preparing our hearts and minds for Christmas, but also for Christ’s coming again. May God be with you as you journey home.
Prayer: Father in heaven, be with me day by day as I do your work here on Earth and continually guide me on the paths you would have me take. Be with more, Lord, as I walk Heavenward hand-in-hand with the Christian brothers and sisters you have blessed me with in my church, in my home and elsewhere in my life. Strengthen me, constantly, that I would not stray and keep me in your loving care here in time and forever in eternity. Amen.