Seeking the Comfort of Israel
Scripture Reading — Luke 2:22-35
Simeon . . . was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. — Luke 2:25
In this story related to Christmas, we meet Simeon, a righteous and devout man who was waiting for the consolation (or comfort) of Israel. Based on a promise made to him by God, Simeon was waiting for God to rescue and comfort his people. Isaiah had spoken about this consolation with the words “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God” (Isaiah 40:1), and these words point to the coming of the Messiah, God’s anointed, to rescue and deliver his chosen people.
Simeon had been waiting and watching at the temple in Jerusalem for this Messiah. Then one day, prompted by the Holy Spirit, he recognized Israel’s comfort in the baby Jesus, brought in by Joseph and Mary “to do for him what the custom of the Law required.” Through the witness of Simeon, Luke announces that the comfort of Israel has come to save all God’s people from sin, wherever they are throughout the world.
At Christmas we celebrate that Jesus, the comfort and hope of the world, comes to us. He lives in our hearts, and through the Holy Spirit we trust in him as we live by faith. We have received the comfort of Jesus, and now we live in joyful obedience, serving him in the world.
Give thanks today for the comfort of knowing Jesus, and prepare your heart for his second coming.
Jesus, you are our comfort and our hope. Help us to trust and serve you in all things. Amen.