I Smell Good To God

I love the feeling of coming across a Bible verse that you never knew was there, but sure enough it was there all along. This happened to me in church today. We are in the midst of a sermon series titled A New Creation. This week we discussed the idea of the new covenant, and referenced 2 Corinthians 2. Here is the verse that caught my attention:

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

Often we underscore the sense of smell. If we had to give up one of our senses, with the alternatives of being blind or deaf, most of us would probably choose scent. But here is Paul, describing the body of Christ, as a sweet scent to God. How amazing.

And although we often undermine our gift of scent there is nothing else like it. Imagine you are at home and your children are away at the grandparents. Although the quiet is a beautiful thing, and it’s the first time you’ve gotten anything done in weeks, you still ache a little in your separation. You are doing laundry and as you go to throw your little one’s blankie in the washer it grabs you. That scent. You know the one … baby soft skin, sour milk, and Johnson and Johnson’s tear free baby wash. At that moment it takes all one has to contain themselves.

It has happened with my late husband, Matt, too. I remember clearly in the weeks after his death when I was acutely aware that his scent was leaving every last item I had of his. It was painful, but what was more emotional than that was coming across a box months later of his things. Opening the box, that I had packed, assuming it was nothing more than clothes now. Opening that box of t-shirts and for just a moment he was there. He was making me laugh; making Evelyn laugh. I grabbed at the shirts fruitlessly trying to identify the exact place the smell was coming from. Before I knew it the smell was gone. As if opening the box had just allowed the aroma to drift out and away.

We can be those emotionally charged scents to God. When we live our lives according to the Holy Spirit’s leading we send that drifting sweet smell straight up to God. And it says, we smell to God like Christ. We smell like his child.

This idea has me blown away today. I wish to smell good to God. I wish to smell of Christ (Which makes me wonder just how did Jesus smell?). The idea further discussed in the sermon was how, in the new covenant, we find freedom. Freedom, in this case, to smell the way you want. By listening to the Holy Spirit and being reminded to repent when told, to go when told, and to wait when told we have an opportunity to bring an unending sort of joy to God that only the ability of sweet scents, filled with memories and love, have the capability to do.

Yes, I want to smell good to God indeed.

Let’s Start A Revolution!

A new sermon series to start a new year! It is time for a revolution. Time to leave our old – and often quickly forgotten – resolutions behind. It is time to begin a revolution in our marriages, with our children, in regards to our health, and most importantly a new revolution within the body of Christ; the church.

The sermon today centered around the story of Zaccheaus, the tax collector (Luke 19:1-9). Zaccheaus is a living example of what a revolution means in regards to our faith. His encounter with Christ radically and dramatically changed every aspect of his life. And it didn’t change it starting at the beginning of the year, or at the beginning of the week, or even the next morning — Zaccheaus was changed immediately. His repentance was a complete turning and moving away from his sin. This salvation story shows us just how amazing a Christ encounter looks like in the lives of people. This Christ encounter is available to anyone, anytime, and in many ways. Often, though, the encounter needs a catalyst. And as the body of Christ we are called to be that catalyst. To shine the light of our own Christ encounter, and help others find a way to theirs.

So how do begin a revolution? We set goals – personal goals, marital goals, goals as a church. We find out where we are going. Be intentional and thoughtful about your destination; don’t leave the outcome vague or undefined. Zaccheaus knew where he was going; he was going to see Jesus. Know what objectives you will need to overcome to get there. Find a plan of action to overcome the objectives and reach your goal. And then, of course, put it into action.

A new year means a new start. Things feel fresh, as if those barriers of fear and doubt have momentarily relaxed to give us a glimpse to the other side. Take advantage of the fire that burns when the year turns new. Set goals for yourself, and for your family. And most importantly set goals for furthering the Kingdom of Christ. As Christians, we don’t live apart from suffering, but we certianly live along side peace, knowing grace, and covered in love. It is time to share that peace, that grace, that love with those around us. It is time for a revolution.