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, March 4, 2013

Christian Formation for March 3 - Joshua 5:2-12; The New Generation Circumcised and the Passover

March 10, 2013 – 4 Lent
Joshua 5:2-12
The New Generation Circumcised
The Passover at Gilgal
Background: The Harper’s Bible Commentary states “The dominant conviction presented in the book of Joshua is that Israel was destined to become a covenant people in a special land prepared for them by יהוה.” We see Joshua as the one who ensures the new people of Israel keep the Torah given to Moses in the Promise Land, beginning from entry into the land of Canaan to the tribes settling and driving out the residents of the land.
Theme: The people of Israel have completed their “40 year” journey in the Wilderness and have crossed over the Jordan into the land of Canaan. In light of their entry into Canaan, the Israelites must begin to live into the tenets of the covenant given to Moses. Today’s story begins the investigation into Israel’s return to the covenant.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Joshua 5:2-12. Please skim chapters 1-4 for context.
* Briefly describe the setting of this passage.
* In what month has the crossing of the Jordan taken place? In which month do the Israelites celebrate the Passover?
* For what reasons might Joshua be directed by God to prepare to circumcise the Israelites who had passed through the Jordan into Canaan?
* In verse 3, the hill where the mass circumcision took place is named (Gibeath-haaraloth [the Hill of Foreskins]) with no indication of when the hill was named – before or after the event. Why might it be important to know the name of the hill, for both the Israelites and for us?
* What seems odd about the timing of the circumcision with respect to the crossing of the Jordan and the ensuing celebration of the Passover?
* The writer specifically states “all the males of the people who came out of Egypt, all the warriors, had died during the journey through the wilderness…” What do you think happened to the women and children who had escaped from captivity in Egypt? Might they have survived until old age in the desert and passed into Canaan? How might the presence of women and children from captivity make a difference to the impact of the story and if so, why?
* The statement about the cause of death of the past generation seems out of place in the story. Why might that recounting be present in the text?
* Why might the Israelites have not circumcised their male offspring while in the wilderness?
* How does God “roll away the disgrace of Egypt” as the Israelites observe the circumcision rite?
* On which “14th day of the month” does Israel celebrate the Passover in verse 10? Is that the “correct” day for the celebration?
* Why might the Israelites celebrate the Passover at that time?
* What might the significance be of the pronouncement that manna ceased to be available to the Israelites?
* What is the good news in this passage? How do we share the good news in our life and ministry?

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