More than a few young people groan at the prospect of family reunions. They perceive the available food as bland and they have grown weary of the endless comments about their physical growth: "You've gotten so tall! You're becoming an adult!" And they very much dislike being forced by their parents to attend these gatherings.
High School reunion reviews have been mixed. I've been told that some High School reunions have been wonderful; at certain reunions, friendships have been rekindled and other friendships have picked up where they left off, despite decades of separation. However, I've also been informed of High School reunions where old resentments were voiced, shouting matches occurred, and drunkenness led to ugly situations.
In addressing the Thessalonian believers, Paul conveyed his eagerness for a future reunion with them in connection with the return of Jesus Christ. 1 Thess.2:19- "For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you?”---1 Thess.2:19 (ESV)
Throughout this letter Paul communicated genuine warmth and respect for these Christians. His longing to see them went beyond the superficial. He treasured the prospect of reunion with these fellow members of the family of God.
This reunion will happen because of Jesus Christ. The Gospel of Christ is good and permanent news for all persons who belong to Him in saving faith. Heb.11:16 speaks of 'a better country' and a heavenly city for every Christian. John 14:23 gives us this promise from Jesus: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." This promise will never be withdrawn for those who are truly saved.
Furthermore, Christians in heaven will not be isolated (Rev.7:9-10). We'll all be part of this reunion, this celebration of God's extreme grace toward us. The thing that we call death will not prevent this reunion; in fact, we will go through death to attend this grand reunion. Instead of groaning and drunkenness, there will be delight at seeing God---and the thrill of interacting with fellow glorified believers in Christ.
Using a 'ship' word picture, an unknown author shared the following perspective on the subject:
I stand upon the sea shore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and moves softly out to the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and look at her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with one another.
Then someone at my side exclaims: "Look, she's gone!"
Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull as she ever was. Her diminished size lies in me, not her. And at the very moment when someone at my side exclaims, "Look, she's gone", there are other eyes eagerly watching her approach, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Look, she's coming home!"
That's a reunion all Christians can treasure.