Leaping for Joy

Read: Luke 1:34-45

For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. (v. 44)

As you approach Thanksgiving and Christmas, how are you feeling? Perhaps you’re looking forward to extra time with family, a holiday tradition, time off work, or a special church service. Young children often get excited for gifts. However, this time of year can also bring less-welcome feelings of anxiety and grief.

After the angel Gabriel visited Mary to tell her she had found favor with God and would give birth to Jesus, Mary was given a sign of assurance. She was told that her relative Elizabeth, despite her old age, was six months pregnant. When Mary visited Elizabeth a short time later, the angel’s words were confirmed. Not only was Elizabeth pregnant, but the child within her (John the Baptist) leapt for joy in her womb upon Mary’s arrival. This was a scary time for Mary, trying to explain her pregnancy to her parents, her fiancé, and others in the village. God used John, even while he was in his mother’s womb, to bring assurance to Mary. He used Elizabeth’s words (vv. 42-45) to encourage her. As a result, Mary rejoiced with a song (vv. 46-55).

It’s likely someone you know needs encouragement. You’d be amazed how a phone call, listening ear, text, email, or handwritten note could bless someone today. Go for it. Share the love of Jesus with someone who needs it.

As you pray, lift up those you know who are discouraged, grieving, and hurting.

About the Author

Rev. Steve Petroelje is a specialized transition pastor who serves vacant churches and helps them assess health, pursue missional effectiveness, and conduct a pastoral search process. He is the past-president of the Words of Hope Board of Trustees.

This entry is part 3 of 15 in the series Prepare the Way