Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Social & Physical Location

A friend recommended an article for me to read from Charles Campbell.

Campbell begins by describing social location--this means that I, Josh Ross, am white, middle-class, and I come from a two-parent home in which both of my parents were spiritual nurturers. These factors influence the way I read Scripture.

Everything changes when the conversation moves to physical location.
What happens when we read Scripture and take our prayers to a different, physical location?
For instance:
1) What happens when we read James 5 (a passage about materialism) while sitting on the steps of the biggest bank in our city?
2) What happens when we read Jesus' words, "Do not worry about what you will eat...drink...or wear," while sitting in the food court of a shopping mall?
3) What happens when we read Luke's beatitudes from Luke 6 while driving through the "projects" in the inner-city?
4) What happens when we read the story of Jesus healing a man with leprosy (Luke 5) while at an AIDS clinic?
5) What happens when we read passages about caring for widows while walking the halls of the nearest nursing home?
6) What happens when we read the Lord's Prayer ("Give us this day our daily bread") while sitting with the homeless in a local park?

For most of us, we engage Scripture in safe places, such as classrooms in the church and/or in the safety of our homes. Right now in my own life, I feel God calling me to engage Scripture in the city...outside of my office.
I am attempting to take a prayer drive once a week through the city of Memphis. While driving I want God to open my eyes to see the way he sees and to care the way he cares.

When we take Scripture outside of safe-pockets, it takes on new life. It invites us into the world in innovative ways.


Rick Ross said...

What a great idea. I will look forward to hearing you share about that.

Justin said...

Good thought. It is kinda like, we believe what we believe until it happens to someone we know. Context is huge.

Casey "C.P." McCollum said...

I often pray to not just see new things but to have new eyes - i think what you are doing will achieve that...oh, and i am stealing this :)


phil said...


Do you have a link to the Campbell article?

Josh Ross said...

I'll try and find a link.

Josh Graves said...

Physical location is about the where.
Social location is about the who.


Your Friend Who Gave You the Article.