Good morning friends! I’m up very early today enjoying my Christmas lights and the scents of our tree and the burning candle at my table. May this season be filled with all five senses – sight and sound and touch and taste and smell.
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation – an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.
This is a terrific responsibility. Is anyone competent to take it on? No – but at least we don’t take God’s Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell it cheap. We stand in Christ’s presence when we speak; God looks us in the face. We get what we say from God and say it as honestly as we can. 2 Corinthians 2, The Message
As I’ve been reflecting through the Advent season this year, I’ve been reminded again and again how “off the grid” it truly was. God among us – slipping into a stable – arriving as a newborn. Everything about it was filled with surprise and intrigue, the majority of the population missed it completely. No fanfare. More questions than answers. Yet an aroma was released and we carry it with us still – it wafts and lingers in the air – it is elusive and powerful.
Mary watched and pondered as shepherds came telling her stories, and then on the 8th day, she brought him to the temple – the aroma filled the air and Simeon stepped forth. Long were the years that Simeon waited to smell this child, and when he did, he knew. The Holy Spirit nudged his spirit and he knew deep down that he was holding the Christ Child.
If you do nothing else this week, stop and ponder the years that Simeon waited – the moment when he held this babe in his arms and lifted him to the heavens – blessing God and this family.
Listen for the hum of Advent, pay attention to the aroma of Advent – for that is what Paul challenges us to be in his letters to the Corinthians. Recognize that regardless of what you do or say, when you enter a room, you bring the aroma of Christ – people smell God on you and for the lost it brings such comfort. Yes, it is true, for lovers of the darkness, you are the stench of death – but for so so many lost and wandering people, you are life – you bring the fragrance of what their hearts are aching to know and believe.
Bless people this season – stop and listen – give gentle words to the aroma – ask generous questions – be patient and kind.
Be the Kingdom.