July 12, 2022
Read 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
14 But thank God, who is always leading us around through Christ as if we were in a parade. He releases the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere through us. 15 We smell like the aroma of Christ’s offering to God, both to those who are being saved and to those who are on the road to destruction. 16 We smell like a contagious dead person to those who are dying, but we smell like the fountain of life to those who are being saved. Who is qualified for this kind of ministry? 17 We aren’t like so many people who hustle the word of God to make a profit. We are speaking through Christ in the presence of God, as those who are sincere and as those who are sent from God.
Good morning! We must join with Christ before the parade passes by.
Paul uses interesting sensory connections in today’s passage. We often read of seeing, hearing, and even touching to share God with one another. The idea of what is smelled is very different. The sense of smell is sometimes undervalued by us, but when we have a cold or are congested we suddenly remember how smell is an important part of how we determine things such as taste. Smells can trigger a variety of emotions as evidenced by the variety of candle and room spray fragrances.
Many of you know of my strong affinity for Christmas. I will admit that the smell of Balsam and Pine can make me swoon. To smell like the fountain of life is a lovely idea. Think of the smell after a fresh morning rain or the smell when you arrive at the oceanfront. There are also those comforting smells that remind us of a simpler time, growing up when yeast rolls were being made and soup cooking on the stove.
A few months ago I conducted a smell activity with some Kindergarten students during which they smelled a fragrance on a cotton ball and then drew a sketch of what they thought the smell represented. You could watch their faces as they sniffed the fragrance and see which smells brought happy thoughts and which ones repulsed them. One of the more pungent smells that they experienced was garlic. For those who like foods with garlic, this was a wonderful smell, but for those who did not they said or thought “yuck”. Maybe that is how Paul is explaining how we can smell like a contagious dead person to those who are dying, but the fountain of life to the believers being saved.
We should open and engage all of our senses each day so that we may find each sign of God among us. Through these signs we are comforted as we continue on our daily paths towards Christ. May our journeys be filled with those smells which comfort you.
Loving and Caring God, Thank You for loving us. You are among us in so many ways. Sometimes we forget to take time to smell the roses. Help us to slow down and sense Your presence. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen
Thought for the day: God is here for those who believe and take the time to notice.
Share Your Fragrance! Pastor Liz