Being the Aroma of Christ

2 Corinthians 2:14-15 “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”

Smell is a powerful thing. A familiar smell holds the power to connect us to particular time and place in our past. The smell of The Body Shop’s Dewberry perfume sends me back to my teens, and a summer of Christian festivals. This smell leaves me feeling happy, as it is associated with fun times. Similarly the smell of coconut reminds me of sun cream and holidays, happy, carefree days spent on the beach. Likewise the clinical smell of a hospital, and I’m sent whizzing back 13 years to a hospital waiting room, the sadness and anxiety of waiting for my father to come out of a very serious operation. Smells possess the power to please us or make us nauseous. We can be delighted by sweet smells. A foul stench disgusts us. There is a potent power to smell when it is extremely good or extremely bad.

Verse 15 says that we are the aroma of Christ. What spiritual smell do we exude? Do our actions and everyday encounters leave people wanting to know more? Is our smell sweet and pleasant, or do our words and actions resemble a foul stench? Bobby Houston wrote a book called ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having’ the title is taken from the famous scene in the film When Harry Met Sally, where Billy Crystal doesn’t believe women could fake an orgasm. Right there in the restaurant Meg Ryan, very convincingly, fakes an orgasm, after this a waitress goes up to an adjoining table to take the order, the lady at that table replies ‘I’ll have what she’s having’. Everyone we encounter, be it the person on the checkout at the supermarket, the refuge collectors, work colleagues, neighbours, should look out our lives and want what we have because of the aroma of Christ that we exude. How do we come to possess this aroma? By spending time with and becoming like Christ. Through this, we pick up Christ’s scent and carry it to others. But we can only carry it to others if we actively build relationships with those outside the church, and take the time to invest in the lives of those God has placed in our path.

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