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, October 7, 2013

Christian Formation for October 13 - Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7; Jeremiah's Letter to the Exiles in Babylon

October 13, 2013 – 21 Pentecost
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7
Jeremiah’s Letter to the Exiles in Babylon
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. As the book of Jeremiah approaches its close we see Jeremiah offering words of hope to Israel in exile – not immediate restoration but the promise of long term restoration.
Theme: Israel has been exiled to Babylon and many are hoping for a quick resolution to their exile. Jeremiah, as God’s faithful prophet, tells the Israelites that they will be redeemed and restored but also shares God’s revelation that their restoration will not be immediate and their exile will not be short. Yet Jeremiah faithfully reminds Israel that God is faithful to his promise and Israel still is God’s chosen people.
Questions to Ponder:
* Read Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7.
* Briefly describe the setting for this passage: when it occurs, who is in charge in Israel and Babylon, the political and religious environment underlying the passage, etc.
* How does the opening verse in today’s passage set the stage for the prophetic witness that lies ahead?
* Why might God tell the people to build houses and continue their lives while they are in exile?
* How does God’s pronouncement change the original tenets of the Covenant if at all?
* To whom do you think God is telling the Israelites to marry and offer in marriage? Do you think God is condoning mixed marriages between Israelites and Babylonians or simply that the Israelites should settle in for the long haul?
* Why might God tell the Israelites to build houses, marry and be married, and pray for the Babylonian cities where the Israelites lived?
* How might God’s pronouncement of returning to normalcy be a cause for concern in the minds of the Israelites?
* How are we called by God to do things that “fly in the face of conventional wisdom” in our world today?
* For what reason might God tell the Israelites that their captivity will not be short?
* How is this message a message of hope for the Israelites?
* How is this message a message of hope for us today?
* How are we challenged personally and communally by this passage?

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