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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, June 3, 2013

Christian Formation for June 9 - 1 Kings 17:8-24; Elijah in Zarephath

June 9, 2013 – 3 Pentecost
1 Kings 17:8-24
The Widow of Zarephath
Elijah Revives the Widow’s Son
Background: The book of 1 Kings is an account of the Kings of Israel from David’s death through King Jehoiachin’s release from prison in Babylon. This passage is situated in the account of King Ahab’s reign over Israel and the King’s apostasy through his marriage to Jezebel, a woman from Sidon and a worshiper of Baal.
Theme: Elijah’s interaction with the Widow of Zarephath occurs between the story of his miraculous survival in a dry streambed while being fed by crows and the destruction of 450 priests of Baal. This story can be seen as a means by which the writer proves Elijah’s status as God’s holy prophet.
Questions to Ponder:
* Please read 1 Kings 17:8-24.
* What is the setting of today’s story? Where are Zarephath and Sidon and who the most likely resided in those two locations? How does this story fit with the story on Mount Carmel that follows sequentially?
* What do you think is distinctive about the counterparts to Elijah in this story, the widow and her son? What do you know about the status of widows in the Ancient Near East?
* As you read the story, what is odd about God’s claim in verse 9, “I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.”?
* What do you think is ironic about the widow at the well and Elijah’s request for water? How does this story differ from others in the Old Testament where a male character meets a woman at a well and receives water from her?
* What do you find odd about the widow’s statement in verse 12 that she was “gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son; that we may eat it – and die.”?
* Why might Elijah ask the widow to prepare something for him first then for her and her son?
* What is striking about Elijah’s claim that “the flour would not be used up and the oil would not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.”? How might that statement be ominous about the future? How might that statement tie this story to the preceding stories in this book?
* How would you characterize the widow’s response to Elijah in verse 15?
* What do you find odd about the widow’s statement in verse 18, especially in light of her response in verse 15? Why would she accuse Elijah of killing her son?
* What, if anything, do you find troubling with Elijah’s prayer to God in verse 20? Why would Elijah accuse God of causing the widow’s son to die?
* Why do you think the writer used the “magical 3 times” when Elijah stretched himself over the widow’s son?
* What strikes you as odd when comparing the widow’s response to her son’s resurrection to the miracle of the flour and oil?
* What does this passage entail for us in our life as Christians?
* What is the challenge you see as you reflect on this passage about how you live in faith and trust of God’s active presence in your life?

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