We are a small Episcopal Church on the banks of the Rappahannock in Port Royal, Virginia. We acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the first people of Port Royal, the Nandtaughtacund, and we respect and honor with gratitude the land itself, the legacy of the ancestors, and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Matthew’s Infancy Stories

Two of the three lectionary years focus on a Gospel with a birth story. It was Luke in Year C and the associated Canticles. In Year A we move to Matthew’s Christmas story. Matthew’s Christmas story is much shorter than Luke. It is also 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 in this class using a series of Powerpoints. The class was last taught in Advent, 2016 with Powerpoints over 4 Sundays.

There are two major purposes:

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

->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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