I've read the verses over and over through my life - there's really nothing earth-shatteringly new about what's presented..and yet... Somehow Liz made the verses and thoughts new and inspirational, as she took us through a phrase at a time. The included insights and thoughts from others were an added blessing. I think this beautiful little book would be an excellent addition to your bookshelf as you walk through the days of Advent, and let your heart reflect on what it was like for these women, over 2000 years ago. Three women, three stages of life...something for each of us women to relate to. And what does the Lord require of me? Should my faith be any less than theirs?
"As David once wrote, 'The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.' Amen to that! Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna are among that mighty throng who've heard God's truth and gladly given him the glory."
-excerpt, Chapter 8, Women of Christmas
I love Christmas. Each year it seems like I want to start celebrating earlier and earlier. Reading Christmas literature is something I like to do to deepen the meaning of the season for me. This year I started with The Women of Christmas by author Liz Curtis Higgs.
The Women of Christmas is a a detailed commentary of the story of Christmas as pertaining to three women, Mary, the mother of Jesus, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Ann, the prophetess who worshiped God day and night in the temple. The book contains 8 chapters with a devotional/study guide at the back of the book for each chapter.
One of the first things I noticed about this book was the incredible amount of research the author has done. It was amazing! There are a lot of footnotes in this book, which I like. I like to read a book and take away information about the Bible that I didn't know before. In The Women of Christmas, Liz discusses things like the age of Elizabeth when she became pregnant with John the Baptist, the theory behind the possibility that Zechariah was also deaf along with being mute, and the very important encounter of Mary with the angel Gabriel.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the research that was put into this. That was the biggest thing for me. I like it when an author does their homework. I was a little disappointed with the book cover. The dust jacket which serves as the cover is beautiful, but the book itself is plain and did not include the beauty you see on the dust jacket. Also, I was a little confused about why the author chose to include information about Simeon in the book, other than to segue into her information about Anna.
I recommend this book to anyone who would like to delve deeper into the Christmas story. This book is a great one for study. It would also be a great book for a Women's Bible study around Christmastime.
Many blessings to you as we make our way toward the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.,
Disclosure: I received this book free as part of a free books for bloggers program at Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to give a positive review. The thoughts and opinions here are entirely my own.
Liz Curtis Higgs is one of my favorite authors! I thoroughly enjoyed her recent book The Girl's Still Got It which told the story of Ruth in great detail by dissecting line by line of the scripture. She brings this same writing style and in-depth analysis of the story of Elizabeth, Mary and the birth of Jesus. Maybe because these stories are more familiar to me, I didn't get as much added insight into the stories as I did with her writings on Ruth.
However, Liz puts such a great amount of research into writing her books, that you do learn some interesting tidbits along the way about the people, the geography, the culture, etc. For example, the shepherds were among the first people to see the baby Jesus, but I never knew that they were despised in the culture and were regarded as thieves. Liz mentions that because shepherds were seen as unreliable, they were not even permitted to give evidence in court. This type of detail does give new dimension to the fact that the shepherds were among the first to hear the news of Jesus' birth and to seek out the newborn baby.
This is a fast read and is an interesting source to immerse yourself with the Christmas Story as we head into the holiday season. There are also tips at the end for how to use this book in a small group and a discussion guide is included.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for this fair and unbiased review.
I love Liz Curtis Higgs and I love her blog and her books. She titles herself an encourager, and girl, it's the truth. She's a gifted writer. What I love about her is that she writes about what I love- the Bible. The women of the Bible mostly. I read her blog, as I said, as well as follow her on facebook and twitter. She's known for interacting with her fans which is nice. In fact in The Women of Christmas she has even included some bits and comments from her blog readers.
The book is the perfect Christmas gift this year to ladies you love. Stocking or under the tree, it's just right. Personally I think it makes a great Thanksgiving dinner hostess gift, because then the hostess has the month of December to prepare her heart with this treasure.
Liz wrote about Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, the primary women in the birth of Christ story. She covers them with wit, insight, and tenderness and of course a bit of humor- that's Liz. (I'm writing about her with familiarity because I have devoured almost all of her books)
Liz says, "Never doubt for a moment that women matter to the almighty." Liz shows us scripturally and as she tells the stories of these women she invites us to examine our own stories.
You can look into this book further here, as well as listen to an author interview.
This book will help you savor the story of the Savior this season.
*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in return for an unbiased review on my blog