Thursday, December 16th

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; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence. ~ 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NRSV)

When the petals of the heart unfold fragrance spreads across the valley. ~ Amit Ray

Among the most joyful people I have known have been some who seem to have had no human reason for joy. The sweet fragrance of Christ has shown through their lives. ~ Elizabeth Elliot

Today we are invited to breathe in the aroma of Christ and become that aroma for others. Just for fun, let’s take a moment to imagine what the aroma of Christ might smell like. As we think about the realities of Jesus’s life, perhaps we should include the smells of dusty feet and strong sweat that come from walking, working, and serving! But today, could his loving and abiding presence be like the warm, gentle scent of a wax candle burning? The sweet aroma of sugar cookies baking? The delightful fragrance of lovely flowers unfolding? The crisp clean sense of fresh air blowing?

Can you feel the joy welling up inside as you imagine these scents? These fragrant smells can remind us of special people or places, delightful memories, and significant moments, too. For example, I love the scent of a certain hand cream just because my dear grandmother used it. The musty smell of old books brings happy thoughts of reading and exploring library shelves. The waxy smell of a newly opened box of crayons reminds me of my excitement for a new school year. The soft, warm scent of a candle burning creates an atmosphere of coziness and sacredness to our home.

How might we remain mindful of being and sharing the aroma of Christ today? Perhaps we can light some incense, or put on our favorite fragrance, or set out some essential oils. We might be mindful while we are baking sweet treats, simmering spicy soups, or laundering with freshly scented detergent. We might breathe in the warm smell of a fire burning, or the crisp, clear air of a new snowfall.

Let’s notice and appreciate the scents we encounter as we go through our day, letting them remind us of the fragrant love of Christ that brings our joy. Let’s become like that fragrant love in delightful ways with those near and dear to us, too. The quote by Amit Ray is a good one for us to keep in mind, that as “the petals of the heart unfold fragrance spreads…” How might we gently open our hearts in new ways, so that the joyful fragrance of Christ may be released?

Absorb. What scents will remind you of the joy of Christ today?

Prayer: Joy-giving God, thank you for your fragrant presence in my life. Let me become your joyful presence by opening my heart to you and to those around me. May I breathe in your goodness while spreading your joy with delightful moments throughout this day. Amen

Photo by James Lee on Unsplash
Bible verses found at https://www.biblegateway.com/

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