Spiritual Director · March 7, 2017

Devote #10

Have you ever stopped to think about the number “one”? I guess it all depends on the situation and the circumstances, but one can either have negative consequences or positive consequences.

For example… it’s not necessarily good if there’s only one piece of cake left and there are two or more people. For some, being alone, only one, is lonely. Or, when you stop at a garage sale and realize you only one dollar in your wallet.

But on the other hand, if you’re watching March Madness, the NCAA Basketball tournament, there’ll come a time here in short order that the winner of it all will tell us that they’re number one – they’re the best, the only undefeated team, the top. Or when you’ve had your To-Do list and you’ve whittled it down to just one last thing. Maybe you’re trying to lose some weight and you just have one more pound to lose to reach your goal.

Jesus, talked about the number one. He talked about us, you and me, being one. Here’s what He said…

“I want all of them to be one with each other…. I also want them to be one with Us.” —John 17:21

At first, we don’t see that as a problem. But have you ever tried to get a group of people to all move in the same direction, at the same time? One of my friends directs the Dance Team at her High School. I think of how difficult that’s got to be – to try to get every dancer to step, jump, twirl all at the precise time. If everybody just went out on the dance floor and decided to do what each one of them wanted to do, it’d be chaotic. It would just be a team of people, doing their own thing, with no rhyme or reason. Sound familiar?

Most often, the reason we have difficulty with the “one” concept is because we don’t want to lose our individuality. We’re important. We don’t want to just be another pretty face in a massive crowd. We want to be recognized. If we melted and molded ourselves into the oneness factor, we would lose all that.

But Jesus tells us that the oneness factor is important… very important. Here’s why…

“Then this world’s people will know that You sent Me.” —John 17:23

Our oneness, sends a message to the world. Our oneness, like that dance team, tells the world we’re in this together and we’re going to work together, play together, worship together. You can’t be the Lone Ranger, a pie in the sky, or an island in an ocean. We’re meant to be together and be one… one in Jesus and one with each other.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today:

You and I, as brothers and sisters in Christ, have a message to tell the world. When we’re one, the world will hear what we’re trying to tell them.

Make us one. One with You and one with each other so the world may know You. In Jesus name we ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.