The assignment for the final week is simple.
1. Ask Him to give you time and a hunger for this part of the story, then read about the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12. Follow up by reading pages 141-145 in chapter seven of The Women of Christmas.
•Does this biblical account challenge anything you thought you already knew?
•What were the Magi's reactions to the star, Herod, and the baby?
2. Read Luke 2:21-40 and make note of any questions you have.
3. Only after you've read the scripture, finish chapters 7 and 8.
•What do we KNOW from scripture about Simeon? What do we KNOW about Anna?
•What does Simeon say about Jesus and about Mary? Do you think Mary completely understood his ominous "blessing" at this point? When do you think she may have remembered Simeon's words later in life?
•What does Anna do in this passage? Note the timing of her interaction with Mary. Don't you think she might have been an encouragement after Simeon's blessing?
4. Here's a last question to ponder and research. In every aspect of the story we've read, the Holy Spirit has played a part. Go back and make note of when the Holy Spirit was mentioned and the roll it played. So often we think about the Holy Spirit as having come only after Jesus' ascension, but clearly this member of the Trinity has always been at work!
Thank you to everyone who followed along with this little study! Whether you've actually done it or you've all just been a hope in my imagination, you've driven me to do it and I've been changed! I've contemplated and learned more about Christ's early human life than ever before. Christmas will forever mean far more to me from now on...and I pray the same is true for you!
I'd love to hear what you've learned!