Advent Reflection -- December 4
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
The Christian community, which we often call the church, developed much nearer than our times to the birth of Jesus. The Apostle Paul was acquainted with the northern Greek city we now know as Thessaloniki. He addressed the newly emerging church there as he shared words he hoped would pattern their faith in that time. Among his teachings, he would have related the story of Jesus’s birth.