Jump with Joy!

December 14, 2021

Luke 1:44 NIV

As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

Today's Reading: Luke 1:39-45

Devo Author: Chip Jackson

Date: December 14, 2021

Here are two words for this Christmas season. First is skirtaó (skeer-tah'-o). It means to leap, to jump, to skip. Second is agalliasis (ag-al-lee'-as-is), meaning exultation, exuberant joy, wild joy, ecstatic delight, exhilaration. Skirtaó & Agalliasis

It could be the name of a cool Greek restaurant, or perhaps a fragrant cologne or upscale clothing line. Actually, these two words describe what happened on the evening of September 11, 2021 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, as the unranked Razorbacks defeated the Texas Longhorns, who were ranked 15th at the time–the final score, 40-21! Collectively, 60,000-plus Razorback fans leaped and jumped with exuberant joy, Hog wild joy! If you are a Hog fan you get it.

Skirtaó & Agalliasis. Two words that Luke the physician uses to describe what no eye could see when Mary greeted Elizabeth. “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy,” (Luke 1:44 NIV) the exuberant Elizabeth told Mary. Baby John leaped (skirtaó) for joy (agalliasis) when Baby Jesus showed up. That is what life does when God comes near. When the Spiritual becomes tissue, when the Eternal takes on temporal, when the Creator is hidden in a womb, life jumps with joy!

Don’t lose the context here. Mary, a single teen with an unplanned pregnancy, walks a distance of 91 miles in 100-degree heat to visit her relative. Elizabeth, dealing with an unplanned pregnancy of her own, is enjoying the quiet around the house as her husband has been rendered mute for a season due to the fact that he couldn’t believe what was going on. Mary steps into the house, says hello and the jumping starts, the joy erupts, and the blessing flows. 

In a culture that marginalized women, particularly those young, poor, single, and pregnant, and those older and barren, Luke provides a picture of the high value God places on women, and the unborn.

Skirtaó & Agalliasis. Two words to keep in mind this time of year. In a culture that goes into overdrive seeking to secularize Christmas and devalue life, there is more to celebrate than football games. Immanuel! God with us. God in us. God for us. God placing high value on us. Jump for joy!