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 26, 2013

Christian Formation for Sunday September 1 - Jeremiah 2:4-13; God pleads with Israel to repent

September 1, 2013 – 15 Pentecost
Jeremiah 2:4-13
God Pleads with Israel to Repent
Background: The book of Jeremiah is fairly unique as it provides commentary and criticism of the Israelites during two periods of subjugation interspersed with a period of religious reform. Jeremiah is a descendent of the Levitical priestly line and was a descendant of Abiathar. Jeremiah was a supporter of adherence to the law and covenant relationship over the practice of temple worship – leading to confrontation with those in charge of Israel’s religious landscape.
Theme: In this passage we see the beginning of God’s accusation against Israel indicating how God perceived Israel’s sin against God. Jeremiah shares God’s faithfulness and the faithfulness of Israel’s predecessors, the ones who had been delivered by God from bondage in Egypt. This passage highlights how Israel is, in fact, unique when viewed against the other nations of the world.
Questions to Ponder:
* Read Jeremiah 2:1-3 in addition to the assigned text for context.
* Briefly describe the situation in Israel: the political, social, and religious dynamics of the nation.
* Summarize the story being told by God through the prophet’s words in this passage. What stands out to you as you reflect on the story God is telling? How much of the story might be rhetorical and how much of the story might be hyperbole?
* What might the first three verses be identifying as Israel’s true nature with regard to their relationship with God?
* Why might God’s initial questions be of essence to the following accusations leveled by God?
* What kind of sin do you think God is accusing Israel of? Do you think God is accusing Israel of actively violating their covenant or simply passively moving away from true relationship with God?
* Who do you think has committed the more heinous offense in this passage: the people of the land (verse 7) or the priests and prophets (verse 8)? Which sin is worse in your opinion?
* What do you think God is asking the Israelites to do in verse 10? What is the significance of Cyprus and Kedar?
* Do you agree with the assertion in verse 11, that a nation has not (ever) changed their gods? Why or why not?
* What two evils do you think God is accusing Israel of in verse 13?
* What are some of the differences between “springs of living water” and “cisterns of water”?
* What do you think God is asking the Israelites to do in this passage?
* How is God’s request helpful or a point of grace for Israel?
* Do you think God’s impeachment of Israel is universal or simply individual?
* What is the message of redemption for us in this passage?
* How do we apply the accusations to our lives today?

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