We Are the Aroma of Christ

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;"  (2 Cor. 2:15). Smell is the one sense that is directly hardwired to our brains.  Think of the aromas that have triggered your attraction or repulsion.  Think of the aromas from which the very whiff of them transport you to a time and place of your past: Grandma's kitchen, your Dad's closet, your high school locker room, your first love, or the desert creosote after a summer monsoon. Think of the aromas that warn you of danger: a natural gas leak, smoke in the forest, a stagnant pond, or spoiled milk.

When we were born the first means of finding our mother's milk was through the gift of smell. Watch our dogs' noses move whenever they are in a new space. The aromas and scents we process and the fragrances we pass on to others can either attract or offend.

I encourage us to reflect on the aroma of Christ coming from our particular parts of the body of Christ. As we welcome others into our communities of faith, as we go out in service to the communities in which we live, and as we engage our circle of influence, what is the aroma of Christ to God being smelled?

The smell of Christ's body living, moving, and serving in the world today is often the first impression captured by both those who know Christ and those who don't. I recently heard that when interviewing atheists about the god they reject, many of us who have come to know Christ crucified and resurrected, would also reject that god. May our gratitude for God's unconditional love and forgiveness offered in Jesus, continue to move us to love and forgive in a way that the smell we leave behind is both pleasing to God and to those who just might catch a whiff of us.

In Christ's Service, Bishop Steve Talmage