There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called
Singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson tried calling someone one day. They were using the line, so all he got was the busy signal. But rather than hang up, he stayed on the line, listening to the all-to-familiar beep, beep, beep. Inspired by that busy signal, they became the now famous opening notes from his song “One.”
Harry wrote that one was the loneliest number. Here we have a lot of ones, but there is no loneliness. There are seven ones in this verse and the next, so you might think that there is lots of loneliness. But you’d be wrong. There are lots and lots of community.
There is one body, the body of Christ. And while this one is one, it isn’t one. This one body is the collection of all believers: past, present, and future. Yes, there is one body, but it is made up of many parts.
And what connects all these believers? The one Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit. He, the one Spirit, lives with us and in us. That puts the one Spirit, God the Holy Spirit, in lots of places at the same time. Yes, it makes my head hurt too. But just because I can’t understand it doesn’t make it any less true.
There are lots of things I know to be true but don’t understand them. I know light to be true, but is it a physical particle or a wave? It’s both.I know that my wife, Mary Ann, loves me. I can’t understand it? Or why she loves me. But she does.
And on top of all these ones, there’s another one. One hope. This one hope is a rock-solid expectation of what’s already happened in the past and what will happen in the future. This one hope is so much more than a hope-so. When you have this one hope, you anticipate it coming. And when it comes, it’s not really a surprise.
When this one hope comes, you welcome it into your home. Into your heart. Into your life. This one hope embraces you, and you hug it back.
And when was that one hope offered? When did you receive that one hope? When you were called.
When God calls us to himself, it isn’t an order. It isn’t a command. It isn’t a threat. It’s a request. An invitation to join him.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
But we’ve all turned from God. Some of us just turned. Some walked away. Some strayed. Still others ran away. And that’s where we find ourselves. Alone, apart from God.
God’s calling is for us to rejoin him into the intimate relationship that we were made for. He didn’t need us, but we need him. We were made for him. To know him. To be loved by him.
But for that to happen, something had to happen to the overwhelming debt that our sin created. There was a universe-sized separation between us and God that we could never cross. There was a hole in our relationship with God that we could never fix.
And that’s the price that Jesus paid on the cross. His one-time sacrifice restored our broken relationship with God so he could also fix our brokenness.
And that’s what gives us hope.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people
His hope is right there for us. He’s offering it to us. He’s paid the debt. He’s forgiven and forgotten our sin. He’s released it. He’s sent it away. We are set free from sin. It’s as far as the east as from the west.
Yes, Harry was wrong. We need never to be alone. The thing that made us into a one, sin, has totally been taken care of. And that is more than enough reason to hope.
How do you feel about being part of one body? One spirit?
What do you think about when it says that you are called? Why?
How does hope connect with being called?