Matthew’s Infancy Stories for Advent

Matthew’s Infancy Stories, Nov. 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11 – online

Adoration of the Magi (1481) – Leonardo da Vinci

Last year at Advent there was Luke’s account of the birth of Christ. This year the lectionary switches to Matthew’s Gospel so we will consider his version.

Matthew’s Christmas story is much shorter than Luke. It is different – no angels, shepherds, instead a star and visitors from the East. Jesus is born in a house, not a stable. Where Mary is the focus in Luke, it is Joseph who dominates Matthew’s account. Luke is more about joy. In particular Matthew brings up the theme of conflict with Herod trying to destroy Jesus and the Holy family’s trek to Egypt and back.

Both stories of Jesus’ birth are about fulfillment and both use light effectively in their works.

We will look at Matthew Chapter 1 and 2 over 4 weeks  two weeks for each chapter online published for each Sunday

Nov 20, Nov. 27- Matthew, Chapter 1

Dec. 4, Dec. 11 – Matthew, Chapter 2

There are two major purposes:

->What did Matthew’s story mean to 1st century Christians? Much of Matthew’s account is a fulfilment of Old Testament scripture. Matthew took liberally from these sources.

-> How is Jesus represented as the “New Moses” who relives the history of Israel? ->How do the Magi represent the role of the Gentiles? ->Why is it important that Jesus returns to Nazareth?

->What does it mean to us today? One writer has simply said “the purpose of Advent and Christmas is to bring the past into the present”  

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