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, September 9, 2013

Christian Formation for September 15 - Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28; Invasion and Desolation of Judah Threatened and Sorrow for a Doomed Nation

September 15, 2013 – 17 Pentecost
Jeremiah 4:11-12, 22-28
Invasion and Desolation of Judah Threatened
Sorrow for a Doomed Nation
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: This narrative is a portion of Jeremiah’s description of God’s accusation against Israel. Jeremiah focuses on the attack from the north and the ultimate judgment being meted against the Israelites based on their apostasy. There appears to be allusion to previous sections of Hebrew scripture and the portrayal of the present time as the antithesis of God at work in Israel in years past.
Questions to Ponder:
* Read Jeremiah 4:11-28.
* Briefly describe the situation in Israel: the political, social, and religious dynamics of the nation.
* Who do you think is speaking in the portions, verses 11-12 and verses 22-28? Do you think the same person is speaking in both sections?
* Who do you think the “poor people” are in verse 11? Do you think they are truly financially poor people or simply emotionally/relationally poor?
* How might winnowing or cleansing be associated with the “poor people” identified in verse 11? Why might God want to winnow or cleanse Israel?
* How might a wind be too strong to winnow or cleanse? For what purpose would God send a wind too strong to winnow against Israel? What might the function of such a strong wind be?
* Do you think verses 22-28 are presented as a vision (or possible vision) for the future? Why or why not? How much of the passage do you think is “cut in stone” against Israel?
* How do you think verses 23-26 contrast other passages in the Old Testament? What passages are these verses reminiscent of?
* In the latter verses, the destruction envisioned seems to be counter to God’s promise to Noah that he would not destroy the world again (even discounting the “with a flood” stipulation). Why might God want to send Israel back to chaos like at creation?
* Some might argue that verse 27 was a later addition to the passage, like a postscript after the event. How might the addition of that verse alter the message of the passage?
* What is the statement of hope for Israel in the midst of the story of destruction in this passage?
* How might we apply this passage to our life and ministry at St. John’s?
* How do we share this message as a story of hope today?

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