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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, January 23, 2012

Christian education for Sunday January 29, 2012; 4th Sunday after the Epiphany; Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Jan 29, 2012; 4th Sunday after the Epiphany Deuteronomy 18:15-20
A New Prophet like Moses

Theme: This portion of Deuteronomy helps define the judicial, political, and social structures in Israel, especially following Moses’ death. In this chapter a discussion is provided to help define the manner to identify God’s true prophesies.

Background: Israel has been traveling in the wilderness under Moses’ guidance and leadership. The Israelites will need to understand how they will know how to distinguish themselves from the surrounding countries; especially with regard to acquiring knowledge about God’s intentions for them. Moses, as Israel’s mediator, provides insight into God’s word for them in light of their continuing sinfulness.

Questions to Ponder
* What is the setting for today’s lesson? What has been happening prior to this passage with regard to Israel’s relationship with God, Moses, and themselves?
* In what manner does God NOT want Israel to acquire insight into God’s desires for them? How does this passage counter this prohibition for gaining knowledge?
* The writer may have used a plural noun when describing the prophet who was chosen by God. How would the potential for multiple prophets being ordained by God be helpful or a hindrance to Israel?
* By what means does God state that he will identify a true prophet?
* How is Israel supposed to determine the truth of the prophet’s message?
* What would be problematic regarding this means of determining the truthfulness of the prophet?
* At the end of the passage, the writers state “but any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods… shall die.” How might this statement be a hindrance to a prophet?
* What might this prohibition about speaking in God’s name a word not given by God affect our perception of prophets? Does this perception change in light of today’s fallen prophets?
* How might a prophet be different than a Priest or Levite if they are different?
* Why might the Israelites have been interested in identifying where the “new” prophets would come from in their future? Do you think it is reasonable to believe that there would be “no prophet like Moses” raised up from within Israel? Why or why not?
* How does this passage help us “grade” prophets or our spiritual leaders today? How do we know when someone is speaking God’s word?
* What applications can we draw from this passage for our community life?

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