I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. – Luke 2:10-11 (NRSV)
Every time I visit Martha at the assisted-living facility, she asks, “Are you getting ready for Christmas?” Dementia makes her unaware of the actual date. This reality does not trouble Martha, and over the years it has ceased to trouble me.
Some have said, “Correct her. Help her understand that Christmas is months away.” For a long time, I attempted to do this, but now I see the value of expecting the birth of Jesus every day. I watch Martha’s face light up with joy when she asks, “Are you getting ready for Christmas?” Her eyes dance, and her smile changes the mood in the room. She expects Christmas to come and for Jesus to be born today or maybe tomorrow — very soon. And this brings her joy that is contagious.
In the midst of all that could attempt to defeat the message of Christmas, Martha reminds all of us around her that Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming soon. Her simple question has changed me. I now leave a nativity set on a table in my office throughout the year to help me remember the truth, “to you is born a Savior.” I give thanks for the gift of Martha’s question and for its reminder to expect Jesus to come — today and every day.
Devotion by Karen Greenwaldt (Tennessee, USA)
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