828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
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, August 20, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday August 26, 2012; 1 Kings 8:1-43, "A Solomon Trilogy"

August 26, 2012, 13 Pentecost
1 Kings 8:1-43
Dedication of the Temple
Solomon’s Speech
Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication
Background: The book of 1 Kings is a continuation of the Deuteronomistic history but the focus of the text is the developing religious orthodoxy of the Israelites. The principal theology of Kings is that יהוה is Israel’s only God and that God can only properly be worshiped in one place – the holy temple in Jerusalem.

Theme: Solomon has finished the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. In this passage he dedicates the structure to be the appropriate place where God is worshiped by the Israelites. Following the dedication he “transfers” the power of the Ark of the Covenant from the tabernacle his father built to the temple. We will also see Solomon reiterate the tenets of the Deuteronomistic law.

Questions to Ponder

* Please read the entire passage 1 Kings 8:1-43

* Briefly describe the political, social, and religious setting of this passage.

* For what reason might this passage be recounted to the Israelites? What might the significance of the story be in the greater experience of the nation of Israel and the worship of the Jews?

* Where do you think Solomon was moving the Ark from and to? What importance would the moving of the Ark have in the life of the Israelites?

* How do you think this story might be connected to the mythology and folklore of the ancient Near East? Do you think that is important to the intent of the passage? Why or why not?

* It has been posited that the dedication of the temple might have fallen almost a year after completion; why might the delay have occurred and what significance would the delay have?

* What might the significance of the “darkness” and “cloud” be in this passage? How might this be important to the overall message of the passage?

* Why might it be important for the Jews to have the Ark in the temple? How might this be viewed through the lens of the writers of the Deuteronomistic history?

* Do you think the “reminders” provided by Solomon in verses 31-32, 33-34, 35-36, 37-40, and 41-42 were directed at God, at the Israelites, at both, or at neither? Why might Solomon made these 5 (and the succeeding 2 others) statements about the relationship of God and the people?

* Why might Solomon’s consecration of the temple; oration about God’s presence; and prayer of dedication be significant in the history of Israel? Why might it be significant to us today as we live out a faithful devotion to God?

* How might this passage impact our life as a church at St. John’s? How could this passage be viewed as a confirmation or reminder about the appropriate place for worship?

* Do you think there is a specific place where God can be worshiped? Might there be someplace where worship is more “effective” than others? Why or why not?

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