Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Women of Christmas

There are only eight chapters in the book. But in those eight chapters is a plethora of information, knowledge, and blessings that one can hardly take it all in! Not only that, but in the back of the book is a study guide and notes that anyone wanting to dig in deeper and learn can have at it. I'm talking about the book "The Women of Christmas" by Liz Curtis Higgs.

Liz is such an icon among women's ministry. She is funny, full of knowledge, and very sensitive to the things women go through...mainly because she has gone through some life-altering things herself. Liz is a kindred spirit to all women. She's been there, been through it, and has experienced the forgiveness and healing of our Savior, and been commissioned to share it. 

With that, she brings to light the lives of three women who played vital roles in our Messiah's birth; Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. We have read about them for years and years, but in "The Women of Christmas," Liz helps us get to know them even better!

Each of their lives are vastly different. Elizabeth was married, mature. Mary was young, unmarried, yet engaged to a carpenter. Anna was an elderly widow whose every moment was dedicated to God. Within the pages of this book, Liz shows how each woman was chosen by God for a specific purpose. And as Liz writes, "what boggles my mind" God has chosen us too! * Believe me, it boggles my mind too.

Can you imagine being chosen by God to fulfill a specific purpose of ushering in the birth of the Savior of the world? Chosen by God to fulfill a specific purpose of introducing others to Him? Chosen by God to fulfill a specific purpose of encouraging other women that He has chosen them too? Chosen by God to fulfill a specific purpose of giving other women hope that they have actually been CHOSEN by God? Can you imagine? 

You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him]. ~ John 15:16 AMP

I couldn't imagine it either. I mean, I'm a nobody. I'm not even sure I know what "being chosen" or even "being called" by God MEANS! Well... I didn't know. Not until a clear, starry night in May of 2012, when God actually SHOWED me what it means. Believe me, just like Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, when God calls you... YOU KNOW IT!

So, Elizabeth was chosen to have the child who would prepare the way for the Lord; John the Baptist. Mary was actually chosen to have God's Son, Jesus! And Anna, precious Anna, was chosen by God to be a prophet (see Luke 2:36)! A female prophet! She was chosen to proclaim the truth of the Messiah! Each woman of Christmas chosen by God, hand-picked you might say. Can you imagine now?

Why would God choose women? In a world where men ruled. Why pick women? Ah! Therein lies the wonderful-ness of our God! To show mankind that Jesus came for everyone, men and women alike, so that "one of each sex might bear witness to him." *

It doesn't matter what our age, gender, or race. God has chosen each of us to bear witness of Him. We all have a testimony of the things He has done in our lives. Just like Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, God has given each one of us a very specific, very special purpose. It is up to us to use that to show and tell others of His wonderful love for us.

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. ~Psalm 9:9-10, NLT

Still not sure God has chosen you? Maybe you think there isn't anything special about you. Or maybe you think that you don't have anything special to share. Well, Elizabeth was barren...yet God chose her to conceive. Mary was still just a child herself, yet a woman by the standards of her time...and God chose her to bear His Holy Son! Anna was a widow, a very old woman, who devoted herself to God... and He chose her to bear witness as a prophetess. He used each of these women in a unique and special way. Each in a different season of their lives. In each of the seasons of our lives, we have worth as servants of the Lord too.

There is a purpose for you. You are special to God, He loves you, He is crazy about you, and He has chosen you to do something very special. No matter what your age or your level of spiritual maturity, you my sisters are also part of The Women of Christmas!

* From The Women of Christmas by Liz Curtis Higgs ©2013

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Karla Akins said...

I have got to check out that book! Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

Shelley Wilburn said...

You are most welcome! ;-]

Meghan aka Firebonnet said...

I too will have to check out the book. I am entranced by stories of strong women who lived in a male dominated world. Thank you for this!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Sounds like a great book. I love Liz's work!
I'm putting as many of the blog hop posts on pinterest as I can!

Nancy K. Sullivan said...

Hi, Shelley. Thanks so much for introducing us to a great book. It challenges us to seek that which God has called us to do. Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Shelley Wilburn said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments! I'm working on a Women of Christmas private Facebook group for this study. If I get it done, we can do a "condensed" study leading up to Christmas...and maybe beyond, because these women are such inspirations that we can study them all year 'round! If you're interested, friend me with "Women of Christmas" in your message. ;-]

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