Elizabeth had been basking in the miracle of a surprise pregnancy for about six months when Mary arrived at her house. Mary, the young woman chosen to carry the Savior of the world, had hurried to visit her older and wiser relative, Elizabeth, as she processed all that was happening in her world.
When Mary entered the home of Zacharias and Elizabeth, the baby boy within the womb of Elizabeth jumped for joy! The instant that John, although unborn, sensed that he was in the presence of Jesus the Messiah, he began to leap for joy!
John, still in his mother’s womb and unable to see Jesus with his natural eyes, knew that he was in the presence of the Lord. There is only one possible response to the presence of the Lord, and that is joy! Elizabeth expressed to Mary that this was no soft little nudging that she felt from the baby within – it was a gargantuan leap! John was exploding with joy at being in the presence of Jesus!
The spirit of John was responding to the Spirit of Jesus Christ where there is always fullness of joy.
Perhaps as the years went by, these cousins would play at one another’s homes. I wonder if every time that Jesus walked into the room, lively young John would begin to jump up and down!
His mother, the proper Elizabeth, who had been raised in the home of a priest and was now married to a priest, might have said, “John dear, stop jumping! You are being so lively, son.”
“But mother, I can’t help it! Every time I am around Jesus my legs just start jumping for joy!”
When Jesus walks into our world, into our lives and into our homes, we must respond with complete joy. Our heart should begin the John-jump!
In His presence is the only place that you will ever experience joy. Having your children home for Christmas, receiving mountains of gifts, decorating the house or eating fancy culinary concoctions…these things will not fill your heart with joy. This Christmas, make room for His presence. Spend time with your friends and family singing the beloved Carols of Christmas; read the story of His birth from the Bible together.
Christmas has given us the assurance that while living on earth, we can be the beneficiaries of heaven’s joy!
I’ve been reading the Joy! to Your World! A Countdown to Christmas Reading Plan at YouVersion.com. You might enjoy it, or one of the many other plans that are available. Check it out.