"The Women of Christmas" and Who It's Really About

"The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna" is a new book by Liz Curtis Higgs, a popular conference speaker and author of more than thirty books.

Through "The Women of Christmas", Curtis Higgs invites women to step back from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, to pause and reflect, and to "take a fresh look at the nativity story" {sneak peak: read chapter one}. As the back cover reads:

God Reached Down from Heaven with the Best Gift of All

A sacred season is about to unfold for three women whose hearts belong to God. Elizabeth is barren, yet her trust in God remains fertile. Mary is betrothed in marriage, yet she is willing to bear God’s Son. Anna is a widow full of years, yet she waits patiently, prayerfully for the Messiah to appear in the temple courts.

Following in their footsteps, you too can prepare for the Savior to enter your heart, your mind, and your life in a vibrant, new way. Best-selling author Liz Curtis Higgs explores the biblical stories of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna, unwrapping each verse with tender care and introducing you afresh to The Women of Christmas.

In essence, "The Women of Christmas" is a super-amplified version of Luke 2. Verse by verse, Curtis Higgs creatively weaves the chronological story of Christ's birth, as recorded in the Gospels, together with various background context and explanation, personal commentary and anecdotes, different Bible translations, and comments from women in her online Bible study. The "extra" information and insight add depth and understanding to the sometimes vague, factual Biblical account of the Christmas story, and thus offers a closer look especially at the lives of Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna.

Curtis Higgs draws out the qualities as well as culturally-perceived "faults" in each of these women that speak to both the value of Godly womanhood and the importance of having a right view of God, Who will use us no matter what our age or status is. Further, throughout the book, there are reminders for women readers that we can confidently place our trust in God, have peace knowing He has a plan for our lives even if we don't know it, and bring glory to Him by praising His name when we speak and by how we live. I was especially intrigued by the different translations integrated into the book and the broader understanding of certain words or phrases provided by these differences and nuances.

"The Women of Christmas" is a quick read and certainly not unenjoyable {nor did I happen across anything that I questioned as misleading or not Biblical}. However, I did not consider the book to be overly thought provoking, and, overall, the content was on the shallow side. On another note, I personally did not care for the author's "conversational" style, and after the first chapter, I found the format tedious and at times "choppy" {though, in hindsight, I think it would have been helpful to have read the Christmas story in Luke 2 in its entirety first, before starting the book}.

As I read through "The Women of Christmas", I did come to more fully appreciate it for its interesting tidbits and good truths to consider. While it may have seemed somewhat boring, I think boring is ironically a descriptor of the first Christmas; in fact, other words, like dirty and poor and lowly, that wouldn't normally be associated with the coming of a King, describe the story, too. Because it's not about what's in the story, but Who—Jesus, God with us, God reaching down from heaven with the best Gift of all, God coming for us, to redeem us, to restore us. This, with all else aside, is something worthwhile to ponder and reflect upon this Christmas season, and all the time.

Disclaimers: This book was received for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review. This post contains affiliate link(s) which means if you click a link and purchase the product, I will receive a percentage of the price in compensation.

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