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Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Christian education for Sunday October 30, 2011; 20 Pentecost; Joshua 3:(1-6)7-17

Joshua 3:7-17; Israel Crosses the Jordan
Background: The book of Joshua is typically considered to be a portion of the Deuteronomistic History; those books between Deuteronomy and 2 Kings. The authors Joshua may have reinterpreted older material through the lens of the downfall of the northern and southern kingdoms of Israel; the people’s unfaithfulness to the covenant; and the divine judgment of both kingdoms.

Theme: Today’s reading marks Israel’s entrance into the Canaan through the Jordan River. This passage capitalizes on the leadership of Joshua in place of Moses and helps reiterate God’s presence with Joshua like God was present with Moses. One should note the recurrence of certain themes in Joshua which help maintain continuity between the Torah and later books in the Old Testament.

Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Joshua 3:1-6.
* What has taken place between Moses’ death in Deuteronomy 34 and this passage in Joshua?
* What might the significance behind the statement “Early in the morning Joshua set out…”?
* How is the formula for crossing the Jordan, e.g., time spent waiting, leadership through the river, the piling of the water, reminiscent of other passages in scripture? Why might these themes be continued in this manner?
* Why might it be important for the people to maintain their distance from the Ark of the Covenant while they cross the river?
* Why might it be important for God to make the statement in verse 7 to Joshua? What might this statement be a response to?
* Why would it be important for “the River Jordan to overflow its banks” as stated in verse 15?
* What might the transit of the Israelites across the Jordan be likened to? Is their passage more like a military movement, a procession, or the haphazard movement of a large group of people? Why might this be important?
* What is odd about the details of Joshua’s direction to the Israelites in verses 9-13 when compared with God’s command in verses 7-8? Do you think these differences are substantial? Do you think the differences were simply embellishments by the writers to strengthen their point?
* Why might the waters have been cut off farther upstream than the point of crossing identified in this passage (the waters stood still at Adam [Tel ed-Damiyeh] which is 16 miles upstream from the crossing)?
* What might the significance be that the Ark of the Covenant led the Israelites across the Jordan into Canaan?
* What might the application of this passage be for us today?

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