(Originally posted on WomensBiblecafe.com December 15, 2013 by Christine Smith)
Welcome back to our discussion for The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs. The author is so good in her writing style, there were a few times when I felt like I was right there at the manger witnessing these events in history! Sometimes when we watch a live production or movie based on the birth of Jesus, we miss the details that we discovered in this Christmas book. I am thankful we read this together. It’s the first book I’ve read by Liz Curtis Higgs and I look forward to reading more.
In our study this week, Anna is presented as another ordinary woman with extraordinary gifting. She was at the right place and the right time, because the Lord prepared her for this. While she didn’t know the exact day and time the Messiah would arrive, as she waited, she kept her heart and mind on the Lord. She fasted and prayed, and kept near to Him. Anna was convicted and believed…and she waited for God to reveal Himself. How often are we sitting and waiting for God to reveal Himself today? Is there a certain situation that you are waiting for God to respond to?
As we celebrate this Christmas month, prayerfully consider how you might fast and pray just like Anna. You might want to fast from television, the internet, coffee drinks or something else that the Lord places into your heart. Pray and seek direction from the Holy Spirit. Ask how you may draw near to God…into that quiet corner that Anna found, waiting and praying for His presence in her life.
- Believe that the Lord will answer your prayer.
- Believe that the Lord is present in your heart and mind.
- Believe that the Lord sent His One and Only Son for you.
- Believe in the Power and the Presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Believe in the miracles and the angels.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, the women of Christmas did their part, anticipating the Lord’s advent, dedicating their lives to his service, and honoring his sacred name even before he was born. Liz Curtis Higgs
Questions from the study guide at the back of the book:
Read Matthew 2:1-12 and Luke 2:21-35
- We know nothing of Simeon except the meaning of his name, “he has heard,” and the attitude of his heart, “devout.” What would you need to know about someone before you invited him or her to attend your weekly bible study? Join your family for Christmas dinner? Take your newborn child from your embrace? In John 13:35, Jesus told his followers, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” How might Simeon have shown Joseph and Mary the love of God? And how might you show God’s love to a stranger who crosses your path?
- Once again the Holy Spirit played a quiet but significant part in this story, revealing to Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah. Would such knowledge fill you with hopeful anticipation or fearfulness and dread? How could Simeon so blithely say to God, “You may now dismiss your servant?” What would make it easy for you to say? And what would make it especially difficult? How can you best prepare for the day you see your Savior face to face?
- Simeon’s cryptic message for Mary must have taken her aback. A sword will pierce my soul? Since Mary was one to ponder things, how do you suppose she handled those words at the time and in the years that followed? Since we know God does all things for our good, how might Simeon’s painful yet prophetic word have helped Mary? When people bring you troubling news or offer a word of caution, how do you respond to them, and what might you ask of God?
Until Next Time,