The Power of One

First published May 2016

The Reverend John Chandler considers the effect we have as an individual on our community, ourFlower missing a petal country and beyond.

One is important. Whether it’s a leter in a word, a in a sentence, a petal on a flower, an ingredient in a cake, one missing can make a big difference.

I can imagine flower arrangers searching for the perfect blooms to display in Church, then making sure the arrangement is photogenic and balanced; a football team is at a disadvantage if one player is sent off; and one digit missing from a bank balance can be very significant indeed!

One is important. One could imagine our Queen saying those words – except that it would be out of character, as she has devoted her life, so many of her ninety years, to the service of others. Yet each of us is indeed important, as we will show at the polling booth this month and next. Our elected representatives are wise to remember that they do not just affect whole Boroughs and countries; they affect individuals – the life of each person who elects them. And we will have the opportunity to affect the whole of Europe next month! But isn’t it a shame that we individuals can convince ourselves that one vote won’t matter? Let’s make sure we use our votes!

One is important to God, too. The Bible is packed with the accounts of people who stood out against the crowd, lone people whose actions changed whole communities, and God seeking out individuals demonstrating His love and care for each as well as for all. For instance, read about Esther, Ruth, Jeremiah, Daniel; remember Jesus telling of the lost son, lost sheep, lost coin; and over 100 times in the Gospels, Jesus says “anyone”. If we don’t care about individuals, we can’t care about people.

The trouble is, our eyes and minds often only see what’s there, not what’s missing. In a strong community, though, we do notice when we haven’t seen a neighbour out and about – and when someone’s not in Church on Sunday. That’s because there’s a gap in the pattern, like the missing petal above, plus a gap in our lives because we care.

If we accept that we’re an important part of the community, uniquely placed and valued, we’ll know that our neighbourhood is imperfect without us. And as we care for one another, we’ll want to draw everyone into our circle of friends – and will miss them when they’re missing!

So here’s a list of things to remember:

One. You’re important!

You may now like to pray our special One Prayer - from me to God, and from God to me.

 


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