Welcome back to our final week of “The Women of Christmas” by Liz Curtis Higgs. We have just finished reading this wonderful book about Elizabeth, Mary and Anna.
This week, we meet Anna, another ordinary woman with extraordinary gifting from God. 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?
Her devotion to God blew me away! Our lesson tells us that, “she spent all the minutes, hours, days, months and years of her long life, fasting and praying, worshipping God.” Can you imagine? Waking up each day with a mind to serve and worship God all the day long! How often is it hard for us to find the time to attend worship service, or Bible study with our varying work and home schedules? To be in God’s presence all day long…sounds wonderful!
As you celebrate this Christmas month, I encourage you to join me in prayerfully considering how to 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
ASSIGNMENT FOR THE WEEK:
- Come and meet the women in this study when you join a small group meeting at: http://www.facebook.com/groups/WBCSmallGroups/
- Spend some time this week thanking God for the gift of his son.
- Our next study, All Things New by Kelly Minter begins January 9th! Register now at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1778974515688600/
All the information you need for the next study will be listed at the link above.
SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Your WBC small group leaders may use some or all of these discussion questions this week.
- Read this scripture where Jesus told His disciples, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 (NASB). How might you show God’s love to a stranger who crosses your path? A person you see while riding an elevator? A person you see while shopping at the grocery store? A new coworker at your job? A new visitor or member at your church?
- The Holy Spirit played a quiet but significant part in this week’s lesson, revealing to Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah. When people bring you troubling news or a word of caution, how do you respond to them and what might you ask of God?
- How did Anna’s faithfulness in the temple, constantly praying and fasting, strike you? (Did you think it was beautiful, encouraging, over the top?) How might a modern woman follow her example? How might you follow her example today?
- In what ways might God be asking you to dwell more closely with Him in the year ahead? (fasting and praying more? Studying the Bible more? Trusting Him more? Forgiving someone?)
- Is there something you learned about Elizabeth, Mary or Anna in this study that would inspire you to be a role model for others? What did you take away from the study that you will apply to your own life?
- Just as Anna “turned her loneliness into ‘aloneness’ with God,” we all have seasons when we’re on our own and could use that solitude to deepen our relationship with God. How do you spend that time? What portion would you consider giving solely to God and how might you do so?
- Simeon was from Jerusalem, and he had been waiting in the Temple Courts a long time to see the holy child Jesus. 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 son/daughter from your embrace? Sit next to you at church, on the bus, at an event?
- After reading about Elizabeth, Mary and Anna and seeing that God used each of them in the story of Christ’s birth, what common characteristics, or behaviors did each woman of Christmas have? Do you see any that you can apply to your life to strengthen your faith and growth in God?
- What did you like most about this study? How has it changed the way you will celebrate the Christmas season this year?
We want to thank you for your warmth and commitment you have shown during this study! You have blessed us each week! It is our greatest wish that you and your loved ones have the gift of Faith, the blessing of Hope, and the peace of His Love as you celebrate His birth this Christmas season!