Consolation of Israel

In Luke 2:25 we hear these words,

25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.”

Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel, the relief, the solace, the Messiah. And yet Simeon had a sense of God’s peace and presence so that his waiting was not a passive nor idle waste of time.  His waiting was a patient waiting for God’s timing and in doing so he was busy serving the Lord.  Otherwise, he would not be described as being just and devout.  Simeon was promised by God, and it was revealed to him that he would not die before he saw the Messiah (Luke 2:26) The Holy Spirit then moved in Simeon, causing him to go into the temple when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus into the temple to offer a sacrifice for Mary’s firstborn son.  It was then that Simeon took Jesus into his arms and blessed God that now he could depart in peace because his “eyes have seen Your salvation which You prepared before the face of all peoples…”

Jesus is spoken of as the Savior of all people both Jews and Gentiles. It is only through God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit that the eyes of our hearts will see Jesus as He truly is, the Savior of all those who trust and call upon Him for the forgiveness of their sins. The Consolation of Israel.

Even as Simeon served the Lord and expectantly waited for the coming of Messiah, so may we be busy serving the Lord even as we are looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:14).

I will close with this portion of a prayer from our Book of Common Prayer on page 597 in Family Evening Prayer,

“And grant us grace always to live in such a state that we may never be afraid to die, so that, living and dying, we may be thine, through the merits and satisfaction of thy Son Christ Jesus, in whose Name we offer up these our imperfect prayers.  Amen.”