Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim . . . that her sin has been paid for.
We are not told his age, but I tend to picture Simeon as an old man. He’d been told that he would not die before he’d seen the Lord’s Christ. He is also linked in the story with Anna, who was “very old” (Luke 2:36). In his prayer Simeon says that he is ready to die. Whatever his age, Simeon is described as a man who was in tune with God. “The Holy Spirit was on him.” Simeon was righteous, devout, and “was waiting for the consolation of Israel.”
“Consolation” might not be a word we’d expect to find here. In our minds a consolation prize is second best. The Greek word for this term in the original text can also be translated as “comfort.”
Comfort, or consolation, is also what the prophet Isaiah promised exiles who had lost everything. The comfort that the Lord proclaimed through Isaiah includes the promise of a homecoming and the assurance that the people’s hard service was completed and her sins were paid for.
Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel. When he saw Jesus, he said, “My eyes have seen your salvation.”
Have you found the Lord’s salvation too?
Father of compassion and God of all comfort, may we find our consolation in Jesus, that we may share with others the comfort and assurance of the salvation we have received. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
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