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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, November 26, 2012

Christian Formation for Sunday December 2; Jeremiah 33:14-16; The Righteous and the Covenant with David

Dec 2, 2012, Advent 1
Jeremiah 33:14-16
The Righteous and the Covenant with David
Background: Jeremiah is considered one of the Major Prophets in the Hebrew bible. Jeremiah was considered a prophet whose responsibility was to inform or remind the Israelites why they were being oppressed by outsiders, their wanton sin. Historically, Jeremiah was supposedly harassed and beaten by his brothers and society because he spoke the truth about their evil ways. Jeremiah was unique in the fact he was prophet for three different rulers in his lifetime.
Theme: In this passage, Jeremiah tells the Israelites that God will be faithful to the Davidic covenant: a faithful descendent of David would sit on the throne in Israel. It is questionable whether Jeremiah was specifically referring to Jesus but he was most likely referring to one who would be viewed as the messiah of Israel.
Questions to Ponder
* Please read all of Jeremiah 33:14-16. Please read Jeremiah 23:5-6 to contrast with Jeremiah 33:14-16. Also read Luke 25:21-36 for comparison and contrast to Jeremiah.
* What is the political situation in this passage: who is in charge politically, religiously, and socially in Israel? In general, how would you describe Israel’s life in the book of Jeremiah?
* Who was Jeremiah? What was his heritage? How does Jeremiah’s heritage put him in a unique place as a prophet in Israel?
* Who do you think is speaking in this passage, especially in the latter portion of 33:14-16 and 23:5-6?
* What do you consider the difference between the different passages? Why might Jeremiah make two statements that are essentially the same “only 10 chapters apart”?
* Supposedly each passage makes reference to a different aspect of Jewish society. How might the intent of the prophecy/oracle differ between chapter 23 and 33?
* For what reason is the Davidic king important to the story of Israel’s life?
* It can be argued that the name given in the final verse, “The Lord is our righteousness” was a reversal of the final king in Israel’s name. What might the “flip-flop” of the name signify to the Israelites?
* Do you think Jeremiah is referring to Jesus?
* What do you think the intent of this passage is? Do you think the passage is one that brings condemnation, provides hope, or something else?
* How might Jeremiah 33 impact the way Christians might view the statements given in Luke?
* What might Jeremiah’s message be for the Jews of his time?
* How might Jeremiah’s message be understood in our society, especially Israel and Christian societies?
* What is the message of hope and application of this passage for us?

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