By Viki Rife
We hear a lot about the wise men who came to see Jesus, but sometimes we overlook the wisdom of three wise women in the Christmas story who had a part in God’s amazing miracle. For example, what do you say when your husband returns from a business trip unable to speak? Then you discover that you’re pregnant. You are well past child-bearing age and concluded long ago that you would never be a mother. What is going through your mind?
Then a younger cousin comes to visit, and as soon as she arrives you feel your child leap inside you. You realize through the Holy Spirit that this unmarried cousin is pregnant—with the long-awaited Savior of your people! All you can do is exclaim to her, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!”
Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was a wise woman. She was alert and prepared to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit.
Her young cousin, Mary, probably a young teenager, was also a wise woman. When an angel appeared to her and told her she would become pregnant while a virgin, and that her child would be the Son of God, she responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.” Mary was willing to be used by God as He saw fit, even if it meant public shame or the loss of her fiancé. Her song as she responded to her relative Elizabeth shows us the depth of a humble spirit rejoicing in the greatness of her God (Luke 1:47-55).
The third wise woman shows up in history eight days after the birth of Jesus. When He is taken to the temple for the first time, there is the prophetess Anna, who had been widowed very young and had dedicated herself to worshiping in the temple. She was now eighty-four years old. What wholeheartedness in her zeal for God! She came up to the young family and “gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.” Anna was committed to sharing her understanding of the Savior with everyone she could. She could not keep the good news to herself!
These three wise women are crucial to the meaning of Christmas, and they serve as examples to us of what wisdom truly involves. The wise men followed a star from far away and brought expensive gifts. These women offered the gift of themselves to God.
If we want to be wise women, we must be alert and prepared for what the Holy Spirit might be showing us. We must be willing to be used however He chooses. And we must share what God is doing, so others can have a chance to become wise.
This Christmas, may we be wise women and commit to being alert, willing, and to sharing the wisdom and hope God is giving us.