My favorite part of the Christmas season has to be the smells. From the appetizing delight of the turkey in the oven to the simple, familiar scent of wrapping paper, no part of me looks more forward to Christmas than my nose. Gingerbread, cinnamon, peppermint…a little piece of heaven. In some ways, though, I really do feel like the scents of Christmas bring me closer to God. That’s not weird, is it?
Think about it. Throughout the Old Testament, God requires sacrifices from His people to atone for their sins and observe various holidays (in case you haven’t picked up on the similarities, the term “holiday” is derived from the term “holy day.” That makes sense, right?). For these sacrifices, God often gives very specific instructions. In the majority of these instructions, God tells the Israelites to add ingredients to the sacrifice so they will create “an aroma pleasing to the Lord” (Numbers 28). The Creator of the universe saw it fitting to incorporate an olfactory element into such an important part of His relationship with His people.
While this type of sacrifice is no longer necessary due to the death and resurrection of Christ, I believe God still wants us to do things that create an aroma pleasing to Him. He wants us to continue to follow His instructions in such a way that will we will reek of repentance, sacrifice, and unconditional love. Writing that tithing check…I’m sure that smells like roses. Helping your friend move on your only day off? Pure lavender. I bet that even the daily quiet time you set aside for God has a hint of strawberry. In the decaying world of stink we live in today, what can you do to provide an aroma pleasing to the Lord? What have you done lately that what make God say, “Mmm…that smells good.”?