But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 1 Thessalonians 2:17 ESV
In 1982,Taiwan was my first missionary trip to another country. My translator chose the English name Moses. The summer months were hot and there was no AC in the bedrooms, so Moses and I would take our air mattress and sleep on the top of the flat roofs to enjoy the midnight air. This worked well until the sun came up at 5 am.
We talked a lot about life, our families and our relationship with God. One night near the end of our trip we were staring at a full moon. I suddenly realized we both would be able to see the same image on the same night almost exactly 12 hours apart from each other. Moses and I made a deal to pray for one another when we saw the moon, knowing that we probably would not see each other again on earth until we met one another face to face in heaven.
The pandemic has caused lots of concern and confusion. Isolation has been one of the hardest for people to navigate and this is especially true for the church. From the time of its conception “the church” has been meeting together in temple courts and house to house. The body of Christ has found ways to gather together in order to build one another up in love.
Paul felt this urgency to gather with his spiritual family in Thessalonica once again. He was forced to leave because of persecution. His foundational work of teaching was abruptly cut short. He longed to see them face to face.
Some Face to Face encouragements
- Look people in the eyes when listening or talking with them. The Bible said the eyes are the lamp of the body, you can observe much just by catching a glimpse of their eyes.
- This is especially true for the close relationships of spouse and children. How much time do you spend looking into their eyes, face to face? Intimacy includes face time.
- Put the phone down or away on purpose to face the person and listen. It is not about how talented you may be to do two things at once. Honor is displayed through preference.
- What color are their eyes? Face to face is an opportunity to get to know people at a deeper level. Ask the Lord to help you know this person you are talking with.
- Laughter causes the twinkle to appear in the eyes. Some of the best memories of face to face time with family and friends include laughter. Watch their eyes next time you are laughing.
- Comfort is generated in the heart when sorrow is on the face. Push through the uncomfortable feelings to communicate that you care.
- Meal times are for face to face. Make many plans for coffee and meals with people.
- Jesus came to give sight to the blind both physically and spiritually. Ask Jesus how you can help people truly see face to face with new life from Him.
Pray for your Pastor and staff as they work diligently to create environments for the people of God to gather once again face to face. We were created for togetherness that finds its deepest emotional connection – when we are face to face.
Blessings Love y’all