Some of you, this is true (I've been on mission trips with you), but I'm not going for the physical smell. Yesterday Pastor Kevin talked about the aroma we give off, our Christ-like fragrance.
II Corinthians 2:14-16 ~ But thank God! He has made us His captives and continues to lead us along in Christ’s triumphal procession. Now He uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume. Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this? (NLT)
Naturally, I like to gravitate to the nice-smelling, pleasing to God type picture here. But the last few weeks we've been talking at Fire & Water about sharing our faith, our theme for the year of "Everyone Involved, Everyone Inviting". In our discussions we've talked about how a lot of students have friends at school who really want nothing to do with God.
Maybe this verse sheds a little bit of light on that. Perhaps it's not because they don't like us, but we are the smell of death and doom. We're happy, they're depressed, and they don't know why. We feel loved in a way only God can provide, they don't, so we smell. We are forgiven, they carry the weight of their sin, the pain, the guilt, the overwhelming sense of helplessness. Maybe the world's hatred has nothing to do with us but with what we have and they're jealous of it.
If only someone would explain this is a free gift and help them understand they could have the all-encompassing love of a Holy Father too...