Enjoy, and remember that you haven't lived until you've seen a vested priest do a cart-wheel in his homily!
The theology of today's reading comes from the Second book of Samuel. The idea of John the Baptist (still in the womb) leaping for joy at the coming of Christ goes back to scripture about David - bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jeruselem:
When it was reported to King David that the LORD had blessed the family of Obed-edom and all that belonged to him, David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the City of David amid festivities. As soon as the bearers of the ark of the LORD had advanced six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. Then David, girt with a linen apron, came dancing before the LORD with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn. 2Sam 6:12-15
The ark of the LORD was brought in and set in its place within the tent David had pitched for it. Then David offered holocausts and peace offerings before the LORD. When he finished making these offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. 2Sam 6:18-19
Mary. Elizabeth. Jesus. John the Baptist. God. David.
Luke addist this comparison to his Gospel as a reminder that God-is-with-you is an occasion for joy - David danced for God.
When you came into church this morning, did you kneel, hands clasped in prayer, and look stoicly forward? Or did you feel like you were visiting an old friend, excited and happy?
When you got to your pew did you genuflect, or did you do this:
(the presider runs down from the sanctuary and does a successful cartwheel in the aisle...to the applause of some and the horror of others.
By a show of hands, how many were shocked by that?
This one's a rhetorical question: How many of you were shocked by the impiety?
This Christmas, we will be joyous for many reasons. We will be joyful for Santa Claus, we'll be joyful for spending time with family and friends, we'll be excited about getting presents. But we must include Christ in our joyous Christmas. Because without Christ there is no Santa, no family and friends, no presents. There is no spirit which makes this time joyful over the rest of the year.
There is a time to be humble and reverent to our God. And there is a time to REJOICE in the God amoung us.
John the baptist leaped for joy in Elizabeth's womb when Mary visited.
David danced as the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jeruselem.
The Lord is coming. Be joyous this week.
Do a cartwheel. Or a back-flip, if you're agile enough. Do something to remember that Christ is the cause of our joy.