I find Advent an interesting time because on the one hand we are to anticipate the birth of Christ, while continuing to worship the fact that He already is (and was and will be) alive. Therefore, in some way we are to put off our temporal understanding of life, while also celebrating the fact that God only works in and through history.
We are not anticipating some magical spirit, some high enlightenment, but a genuine and real baby. We are anticipating God, but we are anticipating God as child.
So naturally, for me, this Christmas season will be wholly different than any other one I will experience, because Lindsay and I are “with child.” As a result it was amazing, awesome, cool, moving, humbling, and profound to be in worship yesterday because as the service progressed, so did the frequency of the baby’s movements, which drew me to the above scripture.
Before, I had read this as a metaphorical statement that John the Baptist was the first to understand who Jesus Christ would be. But after yesterday, I was reminded that God has broken into reality, into real history, one where baby’s grow and develop in utero. One where mothers are intimately connected to every movement, kick, every shake of their child. And I imagined Elizabeth sitting there, with a leaping womb, wondering what in the heck was going on? Asking herself, “What does my baby know, that I don’t? Who is this child Mary speaks of?”
And Luke’s statement reminds us of that reality. That John the Baptist truly leapt in the womb because of his deep anticipation and hope for who his cousin (second cousin, technically) would be.
Likewise, our invitation is that while we anticipate the birth of Jesus Christ, we can also “leap” because we know whom Jesus Christ is to become for us.