by Henry Knapp
Now, I’ve never been pregnant. I want to be real clear about that—never, ever have I been pregnant. Ok. Now that that’s out of the way…
In the Gospel of Luke, we are told of the wonderful meeting of Elizabeth, miraculously pregnant with the soon-to-be famous prophet John the Baptist, and Mary, the even more miraculously pregnant mother of Jesus. These miraculous mothers were related by blood, but more so, by their faith and faithfulness. It is amazing what God can do through one or two faith-filled women.
When the women met, Elizabeth was well along in her pregnancy. When she heard Mary’s greeting, Luke, the doctor-author, notes that “the baby leaped in her womb” (Luke 1:41). Now, not ever having been pregnant, nor ever having been a doctor, I’m still pretty taken by these words. The baby “leaped”! (Like a frog? I wonder.) I realize that babies can move around in the womb; I remember when Kelly was pregnant and the kids were kicking her. But “leaped” means something more. “Leaped” is quite an activity for an unborn child.
Something above and beyond is happening here. Here we see, not just the high energy of a growing baby, but honor and praise and amazement in the work of the Lord.
Who is this One born to Mary? It is for Him that the trees will clap their hands, that the angels will sing in glorious praise, that the stones cry out, that the hosts of heaven bow down and worship. It is Him that even the unborn children acknowledge and honor.
If the trees, the stones, and the unborn praise God with such rapture and delight, why is it that we are so reserved in our honor? Elizabeth, having felt John’s joy in being in Mary’s presence, is filled with the Spirit, and exclaims “in a loud voice” her praise of her Lord. This expression of passion and joy is not simply emotionalism, it is not getting lost in our feelings. It is, by God’s grace, a passion for Jesus our Savior, in full recognition of His birth, life, and sacrifice, that brings forth the kind of response where even the child yet in the womb knows his Lord.
Worship is what we are made for; it is what we have been redeemed for. From birth. To death. And in everlasting life. We are made to worship our Lord fully and passionately. What’s stopping you? Are you drawing near and responding in praise to our Savior week after week?
If at no other time throughout the year we stand amazed at the salvation of our God, may it be now. And may we in faith respond to that salvation in “leaping joy”, worship, service, and devotion all through the coming year.