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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, August 19, 2013

Formation outline for August 25 - Jeremiah 1:4-10; Jeremiah's Call and Commission

August 25, 2013 – 14 Pentecost
Jeremiah 1:4-10
Jeremiah’s Call and Commission
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 Jeremiah’s call narrative. In the narrative we see God interacting directly with Jeremiah, affirming God’s participation in Jeremiah’s life from before his birth – thus making Jeremiah a true prophet. God assures Jeremiah that Jeremiah will tell God’s word of judgment and reconciliation to all nations.
Questions to Ponder:
* Read Jeremiah 1:1-3 for context.
* Briefly describe the situation in Israel: the political, social, and religious dynamics of the nation.
* What is the significance of the time that Jeremiah is commissioned to be a prophet?
* Why do you think God tells Jeremiah that he knew Jeremiah before he was conceived? How might God’s connection with Jeremiah support God’s appointment of Jeremiah as prophet?
* How does Jeremiah’s call narrative compare with other prophets, kings, or leaders in Israel’s past? How might Jeremiah’s call be an assurance to Israel that Jeremiah is truly God sent?
* Why might Jeremiah react by stating that “I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.”? Why might Jeremiah be reluctant to answer God’s call?
* How does God respond to Jeremiah’s reluctance to be God’s prophet? By what means did God try to reassure Jeremiah of God’s call and presence in Jeremiah’s ministry?
* Why might God appoint “only a boy” to be his prophet? What might be the distinctions between a young and an old prophet? Why might those distinctions be important to the message God is trying to convey to his people?
* For what reason might God touch Jeremiah’s mouth in verse 9? Who else does God directly connect with like Jeremiah? What might the symbolism of God’s touch be?
* In verse 10, God tells Jeremiah that he will do 6 things, 4 of which tend to have negative connotations and 2 of which tend to have positive connotations. Why might Jeremiah be given more negative actions than positive ones? Do you think the actions commanded by God are wholly positive or negative? Why or why not?
* What do you think the overarching principle of the 6 actions God commands Jeremiah to accomplish might be? What is God asking Jeremiah to do in the process of giving Jeremiah these actions?
* It could be argued that Jeremiah does not look outside the borders of Israel with his prophecy yet God appoints him to be a “prophet to the nations.” How might Jeremiah be a prophet to the nations even though he seems to only speak to Israel?
* What is the good news for Israel in this passage?
* What is the good news for us in this passage?
* What are the applications for us as we live out the message of redemption and reconstruction implicit in this passage?

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