Sweet fragrance

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Pastor Doug was running late as always as the line at the bank drive-thru began to lurch forward. He had to make a deposit for the church, speed home to eat dinner then be back out on the road to make a pastoral visit at Mercy Hospital. Even though the bank’s drive thru was three lanes wide, it was Friday and everyone was making deposits before the weekend.

Pastor Doug was running late as always as the line at the bank drive-thru began to lurch forward. He had to make a deposit for the church, speed home to eat dinner then be back out on the road to make a pastoral visit at Mercy Hospital. Even though the bank’s drive thru was three lanes wide, it was Friday and everyone was making deposits before the weekend.

Pulling up to the vacuum tube-equipped kiosk Doug sorted through fifty checks making sure that they had the church’s endorsement stamped on the back. He then made sure they were right side up before inserting them into the plastic capsule. The capsule made a whooshing sound as the checks disappeared down the tube. Several minutes later, Doug heard the voice of a young girl asking “Sir, I’m sorry but I have to ask you a question.”

Doug paused to remember if he had indeed signed all the checks, included the cash or had forgotten the deposit slip. The girls’ voice resurfaced.

“Can you tell me the name of the fragrance you are wearing?” Puzzled, Doug remembered that he must have had some remnant of Old Spice left on his hands from this morning’s shave. The left over fragrance had been transferred to the checks while he sorted them into the capsule and that aroma had traveled all the way over to the teller behind the bullet proof glass.

Kenny took the city bus everywhere. This morning he had an early appointment at the library where he was applying for a clerk’s position sorting through books. As he stepped off of the bus he caught a whiff of something wonderful in the air but it was fleeting and soon replaced with the foul smell of the bus’s diesel engines.

The walking green illuminated as Kenny rounded the corner of Main Street. As he strode past the laundry mat the smell of fresh, clean clothes poured out through the open double doors of the laundry mat reminding him it was wash day. Half way down Main Street, Kenny smelled the same heavenly aroma that he had briefly enjoyed when he had first stepped off the bus.

It made him think of apple pies, bagels, donuts and freshly baked bread. Soon he came to a bakery and watched as the baker removed a loaf of freshly baked bread from a wood fired oven. He started to salivate, forgot all about his appointment at the library and turned into the shop to buy a slice of fresh apple pie.

Paul penned in Second Corinthians 2:14, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.”

Beautiful fragrances can remind us of people in our lives, they can cause us to turn into a bakery or be attracted to someone. Sweet smelling aromas of orange blossoms, star jasmine and freshly baked bread are wonderful and put a smile on our faces. There are also foul odorous aromas that repel us and cause us to turn and walk away in disgust.

The apostle Paul wrote in Second Corinthians 3:2, “ You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”

 We represent Jesus Christ everywhere we go in our lives and during the course of each day. For many, we will be the only Bible people will ever read.

We are to be sweet smelling aromas by diffusing love, joy, peace, kindness, generosity, gentleness, goodness and self control to the people around us. People should be drawn to us because of our aroma of kindness asking “How can I get what you have?”

Unfortunately, many of us have foul aromas that repel people from wanting to know more about God. We demand too much of people living by the letter of the law rather than by the Spirit. Many times we as Christians cause strife, dissensions and contentions because of our selfish ambitions. It might be our drunkenness, out bursts of wrath, an unkind word or even just participating in gossip that causes strife in our families and churches.

What we need is a daily, supernatural re-filling of the Holy Spirit in order to love and be kind to others as we diffuse the sweet smelling aroma of Jesus Christ. “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma.”