Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Scripture Mementos and Purple Shoes
One of the most potent tools I've used for memorizing scripture is a memento. Assigning a scripture to a significant object you see, use or put on everyday provides an opportunity quote scripture, jog your memory and provide a tangible, visible cue for your memory. Mementos may seem gimmicky at first, but much of the Old Covenant temple items and instruments were designed to remind the priests, the Israelites and future generations of the law, the scripture and the nature of God. In a similar way, attaching deeper meanings to physical objects can create habits for memorizing, quoting and confessing scripture.
I have a number of scripture mementos that I've created patterns around, but the newest one and the one I have received the most comments about are my purple shoes. Those of you who read an early post called The Purple Croc Gospel know the significance of the color purple and the idea behind colorful footwear. Isaiah 52:7 and Romans 10:15 extol the beauty of the feet that carry messengers who carry the good news. It's a complex but beautiful blessing for those who preach the gospel, a poetic tribute that in some ways is lost on our culture. Urban culture appreciates colorful footwear and I've received nothing but compliments on the shoes, and I've been able to explain their significance to people, so they work as a witnessing tool as well. Purple is also the color of royalty. Revelation 1:6 and 5:10 refer to us as "kings and priests" or "a kingdom of priests" depending on your translation. As sons of God and joint heirs with Christ we are kings of whom Christ is King and lords of whom Jesus is LORD.
Each morning as I put on my purple shoes I paraphrase a conglomeration of scriptures, "I am a king and a priest (Rev. 1:6). My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19) and I know how to possess this vessel in sanctification and honor (1 Thes. 4:4). I put on my shoes prepared to share of the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15). How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news. (Rom. 10:15)." The simple act of quoting or even paraphrasing scripture vocally everyday, meditating on it and mentally applying it to myself and to my day is a great encouragement and renews my mind. The more I meditate on these words and apply them the more I believe them.
In Joshua 1:8 the LORD instructs Joshua to meditate on scripture day and night and to not let it depart from his mouth. Before written records were readily accessible, scripture was only accessible through rote. Verbal recitation and memorization was key. There was very little reading of the scriptures, but there was a high amount of reciting scripture. While reading is our main mode of learning and ingesting scripture today, it is a far more passive action than reciting or confessing scripture. Verbally quoting scripture or reading scripture aloud is a more visceral experience and can be encouraging. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Tying scripture recitation to an object, like my shoes, may seem gimmicky or childish, but it creates a routine of scripture meditation that truly has been mind renewing and life changing. I now have a few scripture mementos and I hope to add more as I'm able.
I'll be posting more on mementos, hopefully with more detailed explanation. In the meantime, you can comment below if you have some mementos or contact me through the button on the sidebar.