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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, May 6, 2013

Christian Formation for May 12 - Acts 16:16-34; Paul and Silas in Prison

May 12, 2013 – 7 Easter
Acts 16:16-34
Paul and Silas in Prison
Background: The Acts of the Apostles is a unique book in the New Testament. This book is the companion to the Gospel of Luke and provides much of the history of the early church. This section continues to report on the growing mission to the Gentiles in Europe and picks up at the end of the story of Lydia’s baptism.
Theme: Paul continues his mission in Philippi following his meeting with Lydia and the members of her community. As Paul and Silas travel through Philippi they experience witness to their faith and oppression by the Roman rulers of the day. This story provides a picture of the power of the Holy Spirit to turn people and to demonstrate God’s power in the world.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Acts 16:16-40 for today’s reading. Briefly describe the setting for this passage.
* Where and when does this story take place?
* What is the issue with divination and fortune telling? The “spirit of divination” could be literally translated as “the spirit of Python (a serpent of the oracle of Delphi); what impact would that interpretation of this passage have readers of the day?
* How does this passage of exorcism compare or contrast the stories told about Peter and Jewish magicians in Acts 8:9-24 and 13:8-12?
* Do you think there is a connection between the girl being called a “slave-girl” (v. 16) and her calling Paul and Silas “slaves of the Most High God” (v. 17)?
* What do you think the charge was levied by the slave-girl’s owners against Paul and Silas? How does their charge compare with the charge against Jesus before his crucifixion? Do you think Paul and Silas warranted the punishment they received?
* Why might the jailer want to kill himself when he found the prison open? How does his reaction to his potential “unmerited sentence” contrast Paul and Silas’ response to their sentence? What do you think that is telling us for our current situation?
* What do you think the jailer expected from Paul and Silas when he asked “what must I do to be saved?”
* What do you think Paul meant when he told the jailer “[to receive salvation] believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”?
* By what means do you think Paul is as defiant as he is portrayed in verse 37? What do you think his response signaled to the new Christians in his time?
* What is the message of hope that we garner from this passage?
* How do we translate this passage into something that applies in our time and context?

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