Questions and going deeper resources
Connect How can we balance justice and mercy in our relationships and interactions this week?
- Do you ever find it challenging to recognise your own wrongdoing? How do you typically respond?
- Where had God’s people been exiled to? In what ways is it similar for Christians today? In what way is it different?
Read Jeremiah 29:1-6 — Settle Down
- Why had God’s people previously thought they were ‘safe’? What were there prophets now telling them?
- What did the Lord tell his people to do whilst in Babylon? What did this actually mean?
- How might they have been tempted to either withdraw from, assimilate to, or rebel against the Babylonian culture? Are you ever tempted to respond like this in our world today?
- Why was it important to recognise that this wasn’t a short-term stay? How were they to be present?
- How does the language of ‘build, plant, eat, marry, increase’ remind us of the creation mandate?
How does this point to their active role as God’s people even when in a foreign and hostile land?
- Do you think our culture values staying in a place long-term? What might be some of the unique advantages (for Gospel witness) of staying longer term in places and communities?
Read Jeremiah 29:7 — Seek Shalom
- What is the original word for ‘peace and prosperity’ used here? What does it mean?
- Why would God's people be reluctant to treat the Babylonians like this? What can make us reluctant to show such generosity towards those in our broader community?
- In what ways do you think you can contribute to the ‘shalom’ of our city on your frontlines?
- Do you have a pattern of praying for our city? How could you include prayer for our city in a regular pattern? What in particular do you think we should be praying for?
Read Jeremiah 29:8-14 — Stand Firm
- Whilst living in Babylon, how could the people ‘stand firm’ by silencing deception?
- How did standing firm also involve returning to the Lord? What was the Lord’s promise when they did?
- In what way is v.11 sometimes misunderstood? What is the original context? What does it mean?
- When we seek God, why can we be confident of receiving his grace? How did he bring us ultimate Shalom?
Apply What is one way this week that you can seek the shalom of our city through action or prayer this week?
On Your Front Line this Week
Invite someone along to join you for the Alpha Launch Party! Monday Oct 9, with drinks & dinner from 6:15pm. RSVP at stbarts.com.au/alpha
- Download: some of the family resources to use at home: stbartskids.org
Listen, Watch, and Read
- Listen: “Living in Babylon” by David Jackman: https://www.st-helens.org.uk/resources/talk/54862/
- Read: “Living with Purpose” by Antony Billington (LICC): https://licc.org.uk/resources/living-with-purpose/
- Listen: “Serving the City” by Tim Keller: https://gospelinlife.com/downloads/serving-the-city-9218/
- Watch: “Shalom” by the Bible Project: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/shalom-peace/
- Read: “Christian West in Babylon” by Stephen McAlpine: https://stephenmcalpine.com/actually-max-the-post-christian-west-is-babylon-it-just-depends-what-you-mean-by-it
- Website: The Bible Project: https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/jeremiah/
- Commentary: “Jeremiah for Everyone” by John Goldingay: https://bit.ly/46eJ8LV
- Commentary: “The Message of Jeremiah” by Chris Wright: https://bit.ly/3PAIGQQ
- Sermons: “Jeremiah” by St Helens Bishopsgate: https://www.st-helens.org.uk/resources/series/4914/
- Lecture: “Reflections on Jeremiah” by Chris Wright: https://bit.ly/46k6RdG