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, who are still here, and we honor with gratitude the land itself and the life of the Rappahannock Tribe. Our mission statement is to do God’s Will in all that we do.

Messiah – Timeline


Advent portion

1.  War with Assyria during King Ahaz (736BC-716BC) (“Judah”)

Isaiah 1:21 – Bribery, depraved upper class, avoid responsibility, excessive drink

Northern part of Israel (“Israel”), conquered by Assyria in 721BC and depopulated

Isaiah 7 – Southern Israel (“Judah”) under Assyrian War (736BC-701BC). King Ahaz (“Judah”) challenged by Syria ( or “Aram” under King Rezin) and Israel ( or “Ephraim” under King Pekah son of Remaliah) to create an alliance or else!  Ahaz fails to listen to God

God’s punishment is separating a remnant, the devout- separating the silver from the base metal

Israel 9 – Promise of a righteous Ruler

A remnant will survive Isaiah 1:24-31 and “And I will restore your judges,, and your counselors at the beginning “.  “Zion will be redeemed by justice”
 

2. Babylonian Captivity 587BC.  Despair and hope
However, Southern Israel (Judah) conquered by Babylon and deported 587BC

Psalm 137 -“How can we sing the songs of the Lord in a foreign land ?”

Lack of Hope. God is silent for 38 years

540BC – Isaiah 40 – “Comfort My People”. – God then called them “my people”, urged to “speak tenderly” of them. They had paid their debt, “hard service has been complete”. Highway across the desert will be created for the Lord to lead them back to Jerusalem. He will function as the “Good Shepherd” leading them back. Then the “Glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” When they are back – “O though that tellest good tidings to Zion.”
 

3. Return to Israel 538BC “Second Exodus”

539BC – Babylon falls to Persia

538BC – King Cyrus issues edit for their release. Jerusalem a province of the Persian empire

Haggai, prophet – 520BC – Things are not what expected, Where were the jewel-encrusted gates (Isaiah 54:12), the adoring nations (Isaiah 49:22-23), and the abundant har­vests (Isaiah 49:10 and 55:13)? If the people of this period were suffering from disillu­sionment, one can hardly blame them.

The prophet Haggai steps into this situation with a word of both explanation and encour­agement. “Think carefully of your ways.” Crops have failed, clothes are inadequate, inflation rampant

The remedy Haggai suggests for their plight, namely, that their situation can be turned around by rebuilding the Temple and thus satisfying God’s demands.  People diverted in creating their own houses. Within a month they organized themselves, made their plans, marshaled their labor force, and set about the work. In 516, four years after Haggai first made his appeal, it was completed

 

As the work progresses, however, a new psychological obstacle is raised. Evidently there are still a number of people around who remember the glories of the first Temple built during the reign of Solomon

 

The prophet thus is burdened to show that the unpromising beginning of a second Temple will someday give way to one whose magnificence and glory far transcend those of Solomon’s. YHWH is with His people, he says, and will, in line with His ancient covenant promises, re-enact the Exodus and restoration to such a degree that the Temple will become a place of pilgrimage from all nations and the depository of their tribute.

The prophet Malachi lived 50-75 years after Haggai, approximately 450BC to 470BC.  Restoration of the temple would not be all needed – but restoration of worship and service by the people.

At this point the Temple had been rebuilt, but something was still “rotten” in Jerusalem. Malachi lays much of the blame on the priests. Priests offering “defiled food on the altar” that is not a real sacrifice. They confuse ritual with real worship. Their teaching is poor. God will send curse to future offspring. However, in Malachi 3 there is the promise of a  “messenger who will prepare the way before me”. The messenger will “purify.. and refine” the priesthood. The thought was this messenger would be Elijah.

 

4. Birth of Jesus –  6BC

Matthew 1:18-25 – Birth story focuses on Joseph, Dreams, Prophecy and fulfillment,

and

Luke 2:1-20 – Birth story focuses on Mary, Angels, Shepherds, Christ as Savior.

 

Matthew 4: Jesus Ministry- 24AD