God Loves Women!

December 24, 2009

This week, we complete our short series of challenging messages on “The Women of Christmas”.  If there’s one thing that’s become clear through this series it’s this:  GOD LOVES WOMEN!

This week, we will discuss several women’s issues as presented in the Christmas story, with a focus on the passage depicted in this 1627 painting by Rembradt, titled “Simeon and Anna Recognize the Lord in Jesus”.

Through our Bible passage this week, we see Mary’s incredible faithfulness to meet all the requirements of the Law, even though her family was quite poor. 

We also get to hear Simeon’s prophetic words about Jesus’s great destiny to reaveal the glory of God to the nations.  The prophet pauses to reflect on how this will affect the young mother Mary, as many will love her son, but some will hate him.  Jesus will bring Mary her greatest joy in life—and also her greatest pain.

We are also introduced to a wonderful woman by the name of Anna, who was a very old woman with a strong devotion to God.  After being widowed by her husband only seven years into her marriage, she had spent the rest of her life worshipping in the Temple, fasting, and praying. And now at the ripe old age of eighty-four, she was finally realizing the blessing of seeing what she had been waiting for all these years:  the Savior Jesus was born!. And she couldn’t help herself but share the news with the whole city of Jerusalem!

Come and share with us as we open up the Bible and see what God says about women through this incredible story.

If you would like to read ahead, feel free to take a look at Luke 2:21-40.

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Women of the Christmas Story, Part 1

December 5, 2009

 

The Christmas season is a wonderful time to remember the special women who God called to historic roles in the unveiling of the Gospel story.  Mary and Elizabeth are especially noteworthy, but there are others such as the prophetess Anna, as well.

I appreciate this contemporary painting by John Collier, called Annunciation, portraying  the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary.  It helps me think about Mary not just as a historical figure, but also as a human being.

This Sunday we launch our discussion of the Women of the Christmas  with a discussion on Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Mary received an incredible blessing, the calling to carry and care for Jesus as His mother.  This great calling came with a great deal of blessing, but also with a remarkable level of pain.

Mary’s story opens up so many questions:

What does God’s role for women say about His character?

What can we learn from the discussion between the Angel Gabriel and Mary?

How does Mary’s blessing, and burden, differ from ours?

What happens when a life of faithfully pleasing God takes us on a collision course with living in our “comfort zone”?

And what can we learn about our callings from investigating Mary’s experience?

Join us this Sunday as we CONNECT with these questions and more.

If you would like to read ahead, feel free to take a look at Luke 1:26-56.