Luke 2:25-26 – “…there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking forward to the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.”
When we carefully read the Christmas story, trying to see things from Mary and Joseph’s perspective, we are reminded of how much faith in God was required of them. They both knew that to obey God’s calling was to bring misunderstanding from those around them and a level of hardship with it. We are encouraged to see that upon their obedience to God’s Word, God continually provided words of affirmation and provision for their journey.
Eight days after Jesus was born, when Joseph and Mary went up to the Temple to have Jesus circumcised, we read of a man named Simeon who was led by the Holy Spirit into the Temple at that same time. We read that Simeon had been looking for the consolation, the spiritual aid and comfort, of Israel. Simeon took Jesus into his arms and then declared to Joseph and Mary that Jesus was God’s salvation, the glory of Israel, a light to the Gentiles. Not only did beholding Jesus bring great comfort to Simeon, imagine what these declarations of Jesus must have done in comforting Joseph and Mary.
It’s amazing what God can do when we come together with the people carrying Jesus. To be led by the Holy Spirit, is to be able to be used by God to bring comfort and encouragement. Life brings hardships. But when we say yes to following Jesus, and we go to the gathering places of the people of God, we are in position to receive and give comfort.