Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel ... Luke 2:25
Consolation (n): comfort received after a loss or disappointment.
To be consoled is like a cardigan sweater right out of the dryer on Christmas morning (Did you feel that?)
No one is immune to the need to be comforted―particularly around the holidays when pressure mounts to put on smiles we may not feel.
Consolation is not beholden to anyone's schedule. Sometimes its arrival lags.
Beginning in the Garden of Eden—where God promised he'd redeem the mess Adam and Eve had made—the Jews had awaited their consolation.
How did Simeon handle the wait?
From Luke's detailed accounting, we know that Simeon was a man who was "righteous and devout". He was faithful to the religious practices of the day, exalting the father of Abraham as Lord, the one true God of Israel..
We know he expected to be consoled ... the consolation of Israel ... and that the Holy Spirit had previously revealed to him that he would not die before he'd seen the Lord's Messiah. (vs 26)
Wouldn't we all like to have gotten in on that assurance?
But Simeon had no idea how long he'd have to wait.
I have to wonder if he may not have been just a wee bit angsty each morning.
"When, Lord, when? Is today the day of Israel's consolation?"
Admittedly, I get squirmy waiting for the ding of the microwave as it nears the remaining seconds of a coffee warm-up. Some sleepy mornings, this ritual feels like, well ... too long.
But scripture suggests Simeon was content in the assurance of the coming of the Consolation of Israel. He isn't portrayed as a man heaving irritable huffs ... while waiting for his brew to heat up.
On the blessed day of God's consolation, the Spirit moved Simeon to enter the temple courts. (vs 27)
"Is this the day, Lord?"
At some point after Simeon arrived (we aren't told how long) Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the temple court.
Simeon, meet your Consolation.
A satisfied sigh.
SImeon took Jesus—the tiny Savior of the world—in his arms and publicly praised God.
"My eyes have seen your salvation ... a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." (vs 30, 32)
With that, Simeon could rest in peace.
And so can we. Because Simeon's Consolation is ours as well. While we await relief and comfort and consolation in our daily lives, we are free to enjoy the Consolation—God's presence, here now and forever.
Life brings plenty of zingers. Christmas isn't merry for all. But God's coming as our Consolation and his eternal presence—before all ages, now, and forevermore—is a great comfort in the midst of earthly uncertainty.
Points to ponder
In what areas might your faith be teetering on the verge of doubt, wondering if Jesus will ever bring relief?
With the consolation we have in Jesus, we're privileged to comfort others. Who needs to be introduced to the Consolation of Israel that puts the merry in Christmas?
What makes resting in the waiting so difficult? What are some ways to honor God in the interim?
Thanks for reading!
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1. Sweeter with You—book 2 in The Heart of Moreland Manor series (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.) is with the editor in chief. Release is expected in January 2023..
2. A Steel Rose, a contemporary romance novella set in central Washington, is part of a multi-author project (MAP) and will release March 28th, 2023!
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Until next year,
MARY'S FICTION SHELF
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✏️ This I Promise You (Gardenia Press)
Prequel to The Heart of Moreland Manor series.
What if finding your heart's desire means entrusting it ... just once more ... to the one who broke it?
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