This past Friday night, we went to see Chris Tomlin in concert. It was as amazing and wonderful and worshipful as I had hoped it would be. If you ever have the opportunity to see Chris Tomlin, let me encourage you to GO!GO!GO! He will NOT disappoint.
Equally amazing and wonderful and worshipful and EXCITING and ENERGETIC was the opening entertainment provided by Israel Houghton and New Breed. We've been singing their worship songs at church for years now. Songs like, "I am a friend of God", "Lord, You are Good"... you'd know a bunch of them. (Go to Youtube and look him up... but don't get comfortable sitting down because I guarantee you're going to want to be moving around to the music!)
Anyway... Israel shared a portion of his testimony Friday night as he explained some of the meaning behind his newly release album "Power of One".
His mother, as a young teenage girl, had found herself pregnant, deserted, penniless, and hopeless. One day late in her pregnancy, as she stood on a street corner, a woman on on the other side of the street happened to noticed her. And crossed the street. And simply told her about the love of Jesus.
And right there on a sidewalk in San Diego, Israel's mother gave her heart and her life to Jesus. And a little boy, who just as easily could have become an abortion statistic (if his mom had listened to advice from friends and family), became one of our generation's foremost worship leaders.
To summarize his point, Israel shared with us that sometimes we get into the mindset that we have to travel to some remote country or culture to make a difference for the Kingdom. That we must desire to cross an ocean to change a life.
When, really, we may just need to be willing to cross a street first.
The Power of One.
So, in our small group on Sunday, we've been studying a series on the Disciples. This week, it was Andrew. I took particular notice of this lesson because of my personal affinity for the name! I was so intrigued by the ability to study what the Bible tells us about this disciple, the first one called by Jesus to follow Him.
I know that many of you are familiar with the story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. But did you know that it was Andrew who brought the boy to Jesus?
The disciples had a problem (How are we going to feed all these people?), and Phillip had just pointed out the obvious (there's absolutely no way we have enough money to buy food to feed everyone).
But Andrew noticed a boy who happened to be brown-bagging it that day. And he brought the boy and his little lunch to the Master. And that little lunch, in the hands of the Savior, miraculously fed the crowd of thousands (with baskets of leftovers to spare). (John 6:1-14)
One disiple who took notice of one boy with one lunch.
The Power of One.
Do you have time for another example? How about Edward Kimball? This Sunday School teacher had a heart for a young man named Dwight who had been a member of his class. So, he went to the shoe store where Dwight worked one day, just to talk to the boy about the love of Christ. Dwight L. Moody accepted Jesus and went on to become one of the greatest evangelists in church history.
One Sunday School teacher who was bold enough to have one conversation with one boy.
The Power of One.
So, I am being reminded of this "theme" at every turn. Perhaps, God is gently reminding me that His purposes for me may not always be on a grand scale. Perhaps, He's reminding me to be willing to walk across the street or notice someone in a crowd or have a conversation.
And perhaps, during this Holy Week, He's reminding me of the ultimate Power of One. The One who defied death and sin and the grave. One Savior. One cross. One sacrifice.
It's everything (and the only thing) we'll ever need.