A 15-Day Christmas Devotional for an Untraditional Year

Jeff Mattson, MA ORGL

Host of Living Wholehearted

I thought we were as set as we could be when it became clear that our daughters’ middle school was not going to open up for in-person learning due to COVID-19.

All of a sudden, we would need a better internet option to meet the needs of both virtual school and the business activities my wife and I manage from our rural home. After a tree climber took our dish up fifty feet and did some testing, it seemed we were good to go—until the first day of school.

One word was stuck on their screens: connecting . . . .

Add some tears and that day was tough.

Some friends of ours got word of our troubles and graciously offered to host our girls at their home each day for school. They even set up two separate desk areas where they could concentrate while their own two kids were engaging online simultaneously.

What a lifesaver!

The kids were happy for the three weeks of showing up to school at the Kelly’s house, and we were happy too! Our friends said that, for all we had done for them, it was their joy to help care for us in that way.

Who knew we would need those three weeks and two satellite dishes from different companies to get the job done, but we’re now back home for school and work!

The principle of it being better to give than to receive comes to mind this time of year.

Something powerful happens when we give, and something powerful happens when we receive, although most of us are better at the first. It’s important to know both sides to experience the fullness of giving and receiving. Our friends provided tangible care for us when we really needed it. This gift has deepened our friendship.

Our Father in heaven provided just what we all needed through Christ. May we receive him in a fresh way this Christmas and give generously to others in his name.

Guided Reflection

  1. What gifts or blessings have you received in the midst of this hard year?
  2. What gifts or blessings is God calling you to give to others this year?

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