How do we stay fresh in the story of Christmas? What does it take for our Christmas to be both sane and sacred? Do the words sane and sacred even begin to describe your Christmas experience?
For most American women, the frantic of Christmas begins even before Thanksgiving. The most time-consuming, mind-consuming chore is shopping. We shop for gifts for family, friends, workmates, for those who have needs, for those who have no needs and not even any wants. Often we extend ourselves beyond our available time and money, causing an unsettling frantic stress.
How did your calendar look this month? We say "yes" to event after event; some we feel joy toward, others we would rather neglect but are obligated to attend. If you used one word to describe your life, would it be frantic or fresh?
A number of our women at our church completed a study in which we focused on finding anew our sanity to celebrate the sacredness of the season. Our study by Liz Curtis Higgs is entitled The Women of Christmas; Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary and Anna.
Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, didn’t have a virgin birth but a miracle nonetheless. Elizabeth and husband Zechariah were well beyond child-bearing years when an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah in the temple, bearing the news that they were to have a son, name him John, and that he would “go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah…to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” (Luke 1:17)
Are you like Elizabeth’s son, John the Baptist, preparing the way, smoothing the path for others to come to Christ? Can you say as John did, “He must increase, but I must decrease?" (John 3:30)
Mary, the mother of Jesus, experienced the miracle of the virgin birth. In pure humility, she responded to the Angel Gabriel by declaring: “I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)
“Mary treasured all these things, giving careful thought to them and pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19 AMP) And so all the prophecies of the promised Messiah came to life. Immanuel, God with us! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Have you accepted that wondrous gift of God? Is Jesus living in your heart and in your life? If not, please talk with me or another Christ-follower to discuss accepting Jesus as the one and only perfect sacrificial grace gift able to bring you into right relationship with God.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
Anna, the prophetess, a widow of 84 years, is the third woman of Christmas. An extraordinary woman, never too old in serving our God! She lived in the temple, waiting and watching, praising and worshiping, praying and fasting, continually year after year. Upon seeing Mary and Joseph with Jesus in the temple, Anna came to them and gave thanks to God, speaking to all who were “looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:38)
Jesus came once as a baby, but will come again as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Are you watching and waiting for his return? Are you praising and faithfully serving him alongside his Body, the Church, as you wait?
Are you a “Woman of Christmas”? Let’s replace the frantic with the fresh in our daily lives. My prayerful desire is to be a Woman of Christmas all year long. Will you join me?