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, December 2, 2013

Christian Formation for Dec. 8 - Isaiah 11:1-10; The Peaceful Kingdom and the Return of Israel

Dec 8, 2013 – 2 Advent
Isaiah 11:1-10
The Peaceful Kingdom
Return of the Remnant of Israel and Judah
Background: The first 39 chapters of Isaiah are considered a unit, typically referred to as First Isaiah. In this section Isaiah prophesies against the Israelites and lays out God’s complaint against God’s chosen people. Isaiah has devoted much of the first nine chapters to laying out God’s complaint.

Theme: In this passage God promises that he will send someone to save and deliver Israel from their oppression. God’s promise is “a shoot shall come from the stock of Jesse.” The implication of God’s deliverer (messiah in some translations) will not only restore Israel but will make dramatic and world-changing differences.

Questions to Ponder:
* Read Isaiah 11:1-10.
* Briefly describe the political, social, and religious situation in Israel for this passage. To whom do you think the prophet speaking in this passage?
* Who is Jesse and why would “the one who is to come” would rise from the stock of Jesse?
* In Isaiah’s description of the coming savior, it appears that the savior is not of this earth. How would that assumption be critical in the real change that is needed for the Israelites?
* Why might the “messiah” be grafted into the stock of Jesse as opposed simply coming from heaven?
* How is God’s judge different than earthly judges? What standard would be used by humans and what standard does God’s messiah use?
* How might the heavenly judge “[decide] in righteousness” as opposed to what he hears or even sees?
* What do you think the implication of righteousness and faithfulness being the belt around the judge’s waist and loins might be? What image does “wearing righteousness like a belt” bring to mind?
* Describe what the imagery in verses 6 through 8 evokes? What point is the prophet (and God) trying to make certain to Israel? How the point that God is making different from the reality Israel is facing or that they had faced in the past?
* At least in these verses, what seems to be missing with regard to humans and their responsibility or an action that would be required to bring about the change? Why might there be no indication of Israel’s requirements with respect to the Messiah?
* Verse 10 seems to make the Messiah’s action and leadership universal as opposed to solely for the Israelites? Do you think that is the case – is the Messiah’s action for all?
* What is the message of hope we are called to share from this passage?
* What are the challenges for us in our society, like the challenges for Isaiah in his society?

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