A very popular song in 1969 was “One,” written by singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson and made popular by the American rock band Three Dog Night. The opening lyric of the song says, “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” But is “one” always lonely?
While it is true that the number “1” is often associated with being solitary and alone, we should understand another very important concept, and that is the concept of unity—or many being together as one or at one.
The word unity refers to the state of being united, joined together as one whole.
This same concept is contained in the United States Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge contains the words “one nation under God, indivisible.” Those in school in the 1950s can remember teachers emphasizing the words “under God,” which were added in 1954. The pledge expresses the idea of many individual citizens all being unified as one nation. This is a worthy ideal in an age of divisiveness and individualism, and one that should represent the opposite of being lonely.
We also see this concept in the biblical statements about two becoming one. A husband and wife, though two separate individuals, can be unified as “one,” the start of a family unit (the word unit comes from the Latin unus, meaning “one” or “single”). Family is—or should be—the opposite of lonely.
In 1 Corinthians 12, the Apostle Paul talks about individual members having different spiritual gifts, but all being part of the Body of Christ, which is the Church. All of these gifts come from the same spirit, the same Lord, and the same God (vv. 4–6). The body is one in unity, formed out of many members coming together. Members are baptized into one body, with one spirit, with the conclusion that all the members are equally part of the body of Christ (v. 27).
Jesus Christ also prayed that His disciples would become one in the God family, just as He was one with God the Father. Notice the exact words of Jesus’ prayer: “[T]hat they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us… and the glory which you gave Me, I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one” (John 17:21–23). This kind of oneness could never be lonely!
One of the Feasts of God is the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26–32). The English word atonement biblically refers to reparation for an offense and reconciliation to God. The Hebrew word from which atonement is translated denotes expiation, which refers to extinguishing guilt. The purpose of reparation and extinguishing guilt is our becoming “at one” with God, which Jesus Christ’s sacrifice makes possible.
The wonderful (or “one-derful,” if you will) meaning of this Day of Atonement is a big part of God’s plan of salvation for humankind. His eternal purpose is to add to His family through Jesus Christ—a wonderful mystery that is hidden from the world, but revealed to His Church (Ephesians 3:9–19). Our free booklet The Holy Days: God’s Master Plan will aid you in your Bible study of this exciting plan of God and the holy convocations that picture it. Be sure to order your own copy or read it right here at TomorrowsWorld.org.