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Moved by the Spirit (Luke 2.25–32)

The Pentecost reflection series has been written to explore and celebrate the role of
the Holy Spirit in Scripture and in our lives.


Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 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. And he came in the Spirit into the temple ...
(Luke 2.25–27, ESV)


Simeon has got to be one of my favourite characters in the Bible. He only appears in one episode, but what a cameo! A lifetime of faithfully walking in God’s ways, crystallised in this one moment.

I don’t know if you’ve ever got up one morning with an idea that there was something you absolutely had to do. Or perhaps you pass someone in the street and know you need to talk to them. Or maybe in this season, it’s a phone call you’ve got to make. And you discover to your surprise and delight that you called at just the right time, or the person you approached needed help, or that thing you had to do was something you would have missed if you’d left it until tomorrow.

If you’ve ever had that experience, you may well have been moved by the Spirit. Our God is a God who speaks, and still speaks today. So we shouldn’t be too surprised to get these urges every so often.

But notice that Simeon’s crowning moment is not the first mention of the Spirit in this passage. Simeon’s whole life was infused by the Spirit. The text says simply that the Spirit was ‘on him’ (verse 25). God can speak to anyone, but it seems to happen a lot more often to those who spend time with him. The more we allow God to soak our lives, the more these divine promptings are likely to occur. Like picking out a family member in a crowd, it’s much easier to spot something you’re very familiar with.

Simeon’s encounter was also preceded by a prior revelation. He already knew that he would see the Messiah one day. One of the gifts of the Spirit is prophecy – the capacity to see what God is up to. Simeon clearly had this gift, and he believed what God had told him. So when he got the nudge one day that he had to go to the temple, his lifetime of spiritual soaking and seeing led him to a simple act of obedience, which changed the world.

You’re never too old to be used by God. That would be a fine summary of Simeon’s story. You might consider yourself an unlikely candidate, but if you’re used to walking with God, such that his Spirit is on you, some days you will notice him nudging you to take a significant step. What might that be for you at the moment? Perhaps our great and gracious God still has work for you to do?


Heavenly Father, help me to live a life infused by your Spirit, walking in step with you. Increase my desire to spend time with you in your word, in prayer and in worship. Give me spiritual discernment and help me to be obedient to the promptings of your Spirit to do your work in the world.

These Pentecost reflections were written by Revd Matt Trendall, a minister working in Milton Keynes. Check out his blog at

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