Sunday, August 23, 2020
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…” - 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Smells. They can make us hungry, make us sick to our stomachs, evoke powerful memories, and remind us that we’re home. Our house in Oviedo had a smell to it when we moved here that belonged to the prior owners. We called it the “house smell” and whenever we were away for an extended period it would be the first thing we noticed when we got back home and walked in the door. “There’s the house smell,” we’d say.
Then came the day we came home and there wasn’t a house smell any longer. Now, the house smells like us and we don’t notice any smell other than the ones we are familiar with because they’re our own: baking cookies, grilling, the air freshener, our dryer sheets, the candles we use. The house now has The Garvey Smell. One day, it will smell of someone else and their family.
Paul says we’re the “aroma of Christ.” Do people “smell” Jesus on you when they meet you? Paul says there’s a fragrance that comes from knowing Jesus. If that’s true, people should perceive it the minute they’re near us like some sort of pleasant perfume. Do we emanate the fragrance of compassion and understanding? Do we evoke powerful reactions in people by the ways in which we embody Christ’s aroma, just as smells evoke powerful reactions and memories?
We should. Jesus is powerful, and there’s nothing faint or half-way about him. When people encounter him in and through us, there shouldn’t be anything faint about that, either. It should be powerful, lovely, and an experience that transforms the mind and the heart.
In the most sacred sense of the phrase: how do you smell today?
God of the senses, may we always radiate your fragrance so that the world might know your holy aroma through the living of our lives.