The power of

John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

The power of one is really something.

The singer and musician Bono founded an organization called ONE that campaigns and advocates on an international level to take action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. More than 6 million people have joined in as ONE. We also know the power of one vote. A look at elections over the past several years reveals that many are won or lost by very close margins. Every vote does count. A little research shows that many elections in the United States and elsewhere are won or lost by an average 449 votes out of an average 771,000 votes cast per election. A good group of those were won or lost by one vote. In mathematics, the number 1 is considered neither prime nor composite but in a class of its own. It is the multiplicative identity, so it is also a unit and a divisor of unity. John the Baptist was only one figure but prepared many for the Lord.

In Greek neo-platonic philosophy, The One is the ultimate reality and source of all existence. The Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria regarded the number one as God’s number, and the basis for all numbers. Every Sunday we clearly proclaim that we believe in One God. Advent presents us two ways to look at one and one point of arrival.

The first thing we must look at during Advent is ourselves. Do we see ourselves as ‘the one’ and others as them? In our singleness, our self-identity, our oneness – which is really aloneness – do we fall short of Jesus’ call to be part of His body? Do we serve ourselves and hurt others in the process? Or rather, do we use the gifts God has given us as individuals to build up His one body?

The other thing we must look at this Advent is the One who came into the world and is coming again. Are we letting others know how beautiful it is to be part of the One in the family of faith? Are we preparing to meet Him, not just on Christmas as a single day, but prepared to welcome, live with, and abide in Him for all eternity?

Advent is a time of focus. We will all arrive at one point in time, a single point where we will live in unity or disunity with the One. Are we ready to draw into union as one with Him? The power of the One draws us, calls us, drives us, and gives us a choice. The power of the One is truly beautiful. Let us join as one in preparing worthily for the One.