I came across an article by a young journalist about what it is like to be the only person who showed up for worship. Having recently moved to Portland, Maine, the author was seeking a sense of sanctuary and solidity. He had visited St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland before for a festive morning service, and decided to return for an evening service.
The priest’s care for this one worshiper reminds me of the incarnation of Christ that we recently celebrated at Christmas. Our great God became a tiny infant in the arms of a small family. And when our Christ grew and grew up, he mostly encountered people one, or a few, at a time. The church has tried to proclaim the good news that he came for each one of us, for you, and for me. This priest’s care over her one worshiper embodies (incarnates) that message in a gracious, powerful way.
When we who long so much to share the good news find ourselves wondering whether our efforts make any difference at all, we can think of this priest and the unforgettable impression she made on the lone worshiper. He knows Jesus Christ came for him. We can help others know that he came for each of them, too.