It was many years ago now, but I remember the day like it was yesterday. My husband Al and I, along with two good friends, travelled to New York City in December. What a trip! The train to Grand Central Station – a huge gorgeous building with stone gargoyles on top of monstrous walls, ceilings decorated with some constellations, a four-faced brass clock, and a floor made of something which looked like marble. And the echo! Hundreds of human voices and noises from shoes on the floor, the sound of “All Aboard” reverberating up the steps from where the platform and tracks housed the trains pulling in or out.
I remember seeing the 12 wire sculptured Angels of Lights with their trumpets, leading the way to Rockefeller Plaza. A tree almost 100 feet tall. And then there was the absolute awe at how many people were packed into streets and stores, taxis, horse-drawn carriages, and so many restaurants – all full – many with lines of people waiting.
How is it that one person, with dreams, fears, anticipation and personal hopes, matters in the huge space of New York City? I think of the line from Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca when he tells the love of his life Elsa, “The problems of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.” But my internal voice tells me I DO matter. In this enormous span of universe, in a city which seems to have lost its goodwill, in a place where no one would hear my voice if I screamed, I matter!
This is the season of “One.” One Mother Mary, one donkey, one night, one star, one inn, one angel’s voice, one crèche, one destination, one baby boy, one Jesus, one love, one Emmanuel, one God on a visit to Earth.
We know Jesus’ birth was God’s gift for all of humanity, but he was also an extravagant gift to each one of us. In a world with millions of people, in thousands of cities filled to the brim, in communities with parades and lights, santas and packed shopping stores, Jesus is born for the ONE in each one of us.
May you feel chosen in love by one God and one begotten son this season of birth!