Welcome back to our Christmas Bible study as we discuss The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is a simple and enjoyable book to read, it’s never too late to join us for online discussions. In fact, you can probably read the entire book in less than three hours. If you are enjoying the discussions here and on Twitter, the get the book and catch up on the reading.
After reading chapter five, we realize that neither Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth nor Zechariah were perfect people. Where did our theology get skewed where we assumed that “God only calls the perfect?” Mary was not initially honest with Joseph, as she hid herself from family and friends until she had the courage to reveal her baby bump. Joseph initially wanted to divorce her rather than stand up for her. Zechariah was disbelieving. Yet they were all connected by a faith so strong, they saw God working and joined Him in the greatest miracle ever seen.
How many times do you say this during the month, week or day: If I were a perfect Christian, I would…
- Pray at least one hour a day
- Have a prayer closet in my home
- Use a prayer journal daily
- Never miss church on Sunday
- Listen to sermons daily
- Never gossip
- Never anger
- Never tell a white lie
- Never feel resentment or bitterness towards someone
- Never complain about my troubles
- Bring meals to the needy and clothing to the homeless
- Be a good steward of my money and my home
- Be a good steward of my body
- Stop watching inappropriate television or reading books that are not Christ-based
- Raise my children to be perfect Christians
- Never break a commandment
- (fill in the blank…)
Ladies, God does not call perfect people …He calls people of faith. He sent angels to visit Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zechariah because God knew they would receive and believe. Never assume that God will not call you as well. He’s not looking for kings and queens to lead His people…He is looking for the ordinary person with extraordinary faith. Rise up and be that woman.
Discussion Questions For Small Group via Liz Curtis Higgs- From the study guide in the back of your book
- The Lord disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12). How would you describe the difference between punishment and correction? When have you been aware that God is disciplining you, and what did you learn from the experience?
- When Zechariah could speak again his first impulse was to praise God. Do you think praising God is more for our benefit or His? How does the act of praising Him change your attitude or perspective?
- How was Joseph’s original plan to quietly divorce Mary still a display of mercy? When Joseph married her as the angel commanded, did he become a true hero in your eyes? If so, what qualities make him admirable, even remarkable? In your own life are you more likely to talk about God or to be obedient to His commands?
- Think of a time when God asked you to step out in faithful obedience. How did you respond? What was the outcome?
- Was there something in Chapter Five you found particularly meaningful?
- How does the act of praising God, especially in the hard times, change your attitude or perspective?