Sunday morning I preached on 2 Cor 2:14-16 - "But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads 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. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?".
So what are you going to smell of this Christmas? I'm not talking BO or aftershave but your spiritual aroma. Is it going to be the aroma of Christ, the aroma of self or even the aroma of the devil. You see I believe every time we have contact with another human being we leave a little bit of our scent on them, and that scent will have an impact on them. And we need to make sure that aroma is the right aroma, even if at times that will provoke a negative reaction (the smell of death).
So how do we make sure we smell of Christ?
First the aroma we want is "the fragrance of the knowledge of him". So having the right fragrance starts with knowing him - knowing Christ. That shouldn't be such a shock to us, as all that we have comes from having a relationship with Christ. Not being religious or following a set of rules but having a relationship with him through his death on the cross.
So two ways to know him better. Read the Bible and pray. I'm reading a book at the moment about William Tyndale who first translated the Bible into modern English (John Wycliffe translated it into middle English) and the incredible battle which the Catholic church and the English establishment engaged in to try and make sure people didn't get access to it, which ended up with Tyndale being martyred. People could lose their lives for just owning a copy of Tyndale's translation, and yet there was enormous demand for it. It's challenging me about how I can have a "take it or leave it" approach to reading the Bible, when really having copies available is such an amazing privilege. So read the gospels as a great place to start knowing him. Then pray, taking moments through every day just to have a conversation with him, talking to him about what is going on and involving him in all of it.
And then how to spread that aroma to others. Well there are lots of ways, but it starts by being in contact with other people. Whether that's in the queue at Tesco's at work, at the office Christmas party or talking to the neighbours. And then when you're with those people taking them up in your lift. That can start as simply as being kind to them. Rom 2:4 talks about "God's kindness leads you toward repentance?". If God's kindness can lead to repentance then so can ours. So just start by being kind to people!
That's enough for one blog entry. I might expand on this later this week, but hopefully that's given you some thoughts on how to smell good this Christmas!