Today’s Word: SMELL
Today’s Time of Stillness: 3 minutes
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 2:14-15
What does Christmas smell like to you?
There are many scents for me. Dad’s homemade Swedish glogg simmering on the kitchen stove when I got home from school. Chestnuts roasting on an open street cart on a cold night in Manhattan. The wave of peppermint from a freshly unwrapped candy cane, the cloves in the ham, the party mix baking in the oven (before bags of Chex mix were an actual thing).
Every whiff of evergreen and pine takes me back to my first real frasier fir Christmas tree. My roommate was from New Hampshire and she insisted that we buy a real tree – an 8 footer, no less!… and carry it the twelve blocks back to our apartment… on the fourth floor… with no elevator. Some smells stay with you.
Of all of our senses, smell is most closely tied to the seat of our emotions. But you already knew that. The smell of your grandmother’s banana bread can roll back the clock thirty years in the blink of an eye. The smell of clothing hanging in the closet, shirts that belong to someone we miss, can pull us close even if just for a moment. I keep a bottle of my mother’s perfume in the bottom drawer of my vanity because, some days, the scent of Ysatis is the hug that I need to remind me who I am, and how I’m loved.
As you sit for your 3 minutes of stillness today, breathe deeply. Notice the smells that surround you.
Paul says that we are the aroma of Christ to God; the fragrance that comes from knowing Jesus, the fragrance that God desires to spread in every place through us.
What will your Advent smell like this year? Will the aroma be sweet and inviting to those around you? Will fragrances of comfort and forgiveness, understanding and healing linger in your wake?
As you shop and as you work, as you make conversation and as you listen, when you’ve left the room will anyone say,
“It sure does smell like Jesus was here.”
Put an altar of incense in your innermost heart. Be a sweet aroma of Christ. – Origen