Daily reading: 1 February
The Holy Spirit had made Simeon a promise.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit rested on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Messiah. Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law.
- Luke 2:25-27.
Simeon has been anticipating this day in the temple for some time, he had been eagerly expecting to see the Messiah. But what is the 'consolation of Israel'? 'Consolation' is the Greek noun paraklesis, 'comfort, consolation'.
It comes from the root word parakaleo, 'call to one's side' then 'help, encourage and comfort'. In our passage Simeon is eagerly looking forward to the time when an occupied and weary Jerusalem receives her comfort and relief from the Lord, which was popularly expected to be brought about by the Messiah.
The Holy Spirit had made Simeon a promise. The message to Simeon is that he won't die until he has seen the Messiah. The phrase 'the Lord's Christ' means 'the Messiah promised, sent and provided by the Lord'.
A promise is a commitment by someone to do or not do something. How many promises have you made recently and kept? Today remember a broken or delayed promise and make good on it.
O Lord, O God
creator of all we know.
God is good and
his mercy endures forever.
Your promises are never broken
and your people are not forgotten.
Help us to remember
your promises to a broken world.
Give me the strength
and courage to stand
renewed and refreshed to serve.
Today’s contributor is Dionne Gravesande, Christian Aid’s Senior Ecumenical Relations Manager.
Published on 01 February 2018