Upon hearing this wonderful news, and already cognizant of the fact that it was "Leap Day", I could not help but think of the story of John the Baptist "leaping" in his mother Elizabeth’s womb at the news that Mary was expecting the child Jesus. In Luke 1:44, the Bible says John "leaped with joy" at the news.
I was also reminded of a message I once came across by Dr. Wayne Lawson, Pastor of the historic First Baptist Church of Ardmore, OK. An articulate communicator who holds numerous academic degrees, Dr. Lawson has over thirty years of pastoral ministry experience.
Four years ago, in 2012, during the last "Leap Year", he preached a message bearing that very title, "Leap Year", based on Luke 1:41-1:41. In it, he stated:
This year marks what has been termed “LEAP YEAR”. February 29 is a date that usually occurs every FOUR YEARS - and is actually called “LEAP DAY”. This day is added to the calendar in leap years as a CORRECTIVE MEASURE - because the earth does not orbit around the sun in precisely 365 days.
Every four years the Calendar must take a LEAP in an effort to correct itself based upon the Sun’s rotation. During Leap year, this suggests that something must be ADDED, something out of the NORM has to take place. When we consider the word Leap, it expresses JOY – TO JUMP OVER SOMETHING.
I remember as a boy playing with my cousins and friends a game called “LEAP FROG”. Whoever was in the back had to leap over the child or children in front of them. If you were in front you were good, but if you were in the back, the only way to make it to the front was to leap over them. This morning I want to let you know that this is LEAP YEAR. God is doing something right now in our midst, and when He is done working it out for you, your life will never be the same. This will truly be a “Leap Year” for you.
Dr. Lawson then proceeds to undertake a faithful exposition of the passage where John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb at the news of the coming birth of Jesus the Messiah. He reminds us that it has been a long, bleak period in the history of Israel. No prophet has spoken and Israel has been under oppression by a succession of conquerors for hundreds of years.
The nation needed some good news. The people needed to hear that God was not done with them. They needed to hear what God was now going to do to put the past behind them and then do something new and wonderful through the birth of his Son!
Dr. Lawson culminates his message by calling believers today to be equally as joyous. Why? Because we too have some things to celebrate! If we will but listen, we just might hear God speaking to us as well. We just might find that this same God is working in our lives as well. And for this reason, we too might discover that we have some things to leap about. His concluding admonition is as follows:
--Just as John began to leap in the womb…
--God is saying to us today that this is LEAP YEAR!
--If we once again get excited about His Church…
--If we once again get excited about the Voice of God…
--God will make this our LEAP YEAR!
--Whatever problems you have in your life, God will cause you to “Leap Over It”!
--Whatever has kept you bound, God will cause you to “Leap Over It”!
--Whatever addictions have kept you from your promotion in God, “Leap Over It”!
--That promotion you have been waiting for, “Leap Over It”!
--God says this is our “LEAP YEAR”!
--Bad Habits… “Leap Over It”!
--Bad Decisions… “Leap Over It”!
--The Devil has had you down long enough!
--Tell the Devil, this is my “LEAP YEAR”!
--Misunderstandings… “Leap Over It”!
--Friends turned their back on you… “Leap Over It”!
--Leap over the Problem!
--Leap over that Situation!
--Leap over that Trial!
--This is my “LEAP YEAR”!
--This Year is my “LEAP YEAR”!
Well said, dear brother! The impending birth of Dane and Allison’s baby reminds us that our God is more focused on our future than our past. He is in the business of doing new things, good things, amazing things! We rejoice in the knowledge that the future holds such innumerable blessings for us!
More importantly, the birth of God’s own son, Jesus Christ, some two thousand years ago still stands as proof of what God has ready for each of us today: life eternal and life abundant!
On this special day, I remind you of the importance of embracing the victorious life our God has for you! Why not take a leap forward, a leap of faith, and see just what all that future God has in store for you entails?! You’ll be glad you did!