Contributed by Carolyn Swanson
Where Have We been:
- Since September 2020 we have been in the Old Testament (or Hebrew Scriptures or Tanakh) during the years of the Babylonian Exile of
the Southern Kingdom (tribes of Judah and Benjamin) That exile started with a two-stage deportation—597 and 587 BCE—and presumably ended with the conquest of Babylon by the Persian king Cyrus the Great in 538 BCE.
- Restoration of the Judean Kingdom – not an easy task
- Inter-Testament years about 400 of them With the Old Testament canon closing with Malachi at about 397 B.C., we see that this period between Malachi and Matthew covers some four hundred years. This four-hundred-year interval has been called “the dark period” of Israel’s history in pre-Christian times, because during it there was neither prophet nor inspired writer. With this period, we seem to find the sad fulfillment of Psalm 74:9 upon Israel: “We see not our signs; there is no more any prophet; neither is there among us any that knows how long.”
Where we’ll be in February (when, hopefully, you will join us):
It is exciting! We are crossing over to the New Testament to the Book of 1st Thessalonians, supposedly, depending on whom you check, the first of St. Paul’s letters to the churches where he ministered. Date estimated at 48 CE. We will be connecting dots between Old and New and learning about the young churches who would be the root of Christianity in the years after the death and resurrection of Jesus. And, to our point, how are we doing in being little Christs, as Luther puts it?
of Why are you invited? Or Why give it a try? The Word of God is a very important part of staying close to your faith and your God. Sunday morning sermons are vital, as are other studies on Sundays before worship services (9:30 a.m.). I heartily recommend them! The difference is a whole hour + of looking into Scripture. We begin with prayer and then the learning. There are surprises to be found, comfort to be felt, challenges to be met, opportunities to question and comment (if you want to). And not to be considered least, I think you will like us. We could welcome some more people to fellowship with during this COVID-19 separation. Pray about it.
We could welcome some more people to fellowship with during this COVID-19 separation. Pray about it. All are welcome! Let Carolyn Swanson know if you are interested: firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 390-7732.