Praise Is Due

by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth November 24, 2021
“For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” Luke 1:44 (ESV)
Pinterest Image

Christmas, I realize, can whip itself up into a whirlwind of activities and get-togethers, of food to be baked and presents to be bought.

Church becomes busy. Family life is busy; friends are busy, and airports and highways are busy. And you may find that, in the busyness — having done all these things for so many years as part of celebrating the holiday — you’ve lost some of the wonder and worship for what Christmas is all about.

This is why we need to spend today in our key verse, Luke 1:44 — this private little moment, which God preserved for us in Scripture, when a tiny baby in utero “leaped” upon finding himself in close proximity to God incarnate: “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”

The leaping that Elizabeth, the speaker in Luke 1:44, felt in her womb brings to mind the Old Testament description of Jacob and Esau struggling together in the womb of their mother, Rebekah. (Genesis 25:22) An even stronger parallel is found in Psalm 114:3-4 (ESV), where the writer captured the joy of Israel’s release from Egypt: “The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back. The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs.”

Skipping, leaping — that’s what the arrival of Jesus made Elizabeth’s yet unborn son, John the Baptist, feel like doing.

He “leaped for joy” (Luke 1:44) — joy because of what God was doing to bring about the redemption of His people. Darkness was turning to light. Death was being brought to life. Despair was being turned into hope. After 400 years of silence, the voice of God would finally be heard again. The great and glorious God, before whom angels covered their faces, was coming to earth as a man.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV)

That’s something to leap for joy about — as the familiar hymn proclaims:

“Joy to the world! The Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing.”

Your temperament may or may not be one that naturally lends itself to ecstatic, spontaneous expressions of excitement. But if we pause to contemplate what all this frantic holiday motion of ours is supposed to be celebrating, shouldn’t joy well up in each of our hearts at what God did for the world that first Christmas?

The angel had said to Zechariah, in reference to the birth of John the Baptist, “… you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth” (Luke 1:14, ESV). But John would later say of Jesus, “… he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry” (Matthew 3:11a, ESV).

The real birth, the great birth, is the birth of Jesus Christ.

And that should cause us all to leap for joy.

Lord, restore to me the joy of my salvation. Let me be more excited at the demonstration of Your extreme love for sinners like me than at anything else that feels important about my day. Receive my heartfelt worship this day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Focus on the greatness, glory and goodness of God this season with The First Songs of Christmas, a 31-day Advent devotional from Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.


Find tools to help you flourish in Christ at

Enter to WIN your very own copy of The First Songs of Christmas by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. To celebrate this book, Nancy’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, November 29, 2021.}


Psalm 98:4-9, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.” (ESV)

What changes could you make, whether in activity or approach, that might make this Christmas a season of greater wonder, awe, gratitude and worship — real joy — at what Jesus has done?

© 2021 by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Moody Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

What We Believe

If your life feels too overwhelming, click here for our care and counseling resources.

Join the Conversation