The aroma of Christ.
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Seventeen years ago, I was walking in my neighborhood experiencing my first Colorado springtime, when a sweet fragrance enticed me to find its source. I was delighted to discover these breathtaking multi-blossomed clusters. Lilacs. I was intoxicated by the aroma of spring.
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.”
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 New International Version
The apostle Paul wrote this about himself and the other apostles, but it is also true for anyone who is in Christ. As we inhale the gospel it permeates our being so that wherever we go, like lilacs in spring, we diffuse His grace.
Many will find this fragrance affronting. The smell of the gospel suggests our need of forgiveness for something serious enough to cause death to ourselves and to a Savior we don’t want to need. To some, grace (undeserved favor) is an insult.
But for us and those yet to be wooed by His love, forgiveness and grace are intoxicating. Agape, sacrificial Love, entices us to worship the Source and release our sin. With the Holy Spirit longing within us, the gospel is the scent of freedom and joy. We grow accustomed to the fragrance of Life.
And we are pleasing to God! He delights in the sweetness of His Son in us and takes pleasure in using us to spread the knowledge of Christ to His world. What sweet grace!
Lord, by Your Spirit may we grow increasingly addicted to the aroma of Christ, breathing in His sweetness daily. Infuse us, O Rose of Sharon, and release Your fragrance wherever we are, bringing pleasure to our Father and enticing Your own to be intoxicated by You.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, CO