Sunday, March 28, 2010

A Rare Fragrance

A few days ago I was sitting outside our back patio enjoying the warm sunshine while inhaling the pure sweet fragrance of our orange tree in full blossom. The sweetness was almost heady! Suddenly this hummingbird began to dart in and out among the blossoms dipping its beak into the succulent sweetness and then did the oddest thing. He flew out of the tree and began moving back and forth at an incredible speed, his little wings beating so fast creating a sound much like that of an electric drill. This went on for 5 minutes! It was almost like he was delightfully drunk with the sweet nectar and was buzzing around for joy. This fragrance, so pungent, so delightfully sweet, awakens all the senses and causes ones eye to look about and take notice!

So, naturally, my mind turns to the scriptures and to the words, "the fragrance of Christ." Fragrance - a good word picture comes to mind here. You've seen the cartoon character standing alone when unexpectedly some luscious savory fragrance wafts by and his nose is suddenly lifted in the air following the scent; next his feet are lifted up also and he begins to float on towards that delightful smell. Stand up and take notice! That's what fragrance does. Or have you ever been sitting somewhere, perhaps an airport minding your own business, when someone passes by, and in that persons wake some delicious sweet perfume overtakes your senses. Immediately your face lifts and your eyes are scanning the perimeter looking for the reason of that scent. Fragrance ..... it makes you stand up and take notice.

Surely, the disciples show us a good example of this. Peter and Andrew, two fishermen, brothers who have learned the family trade, who are responsible sort of men making a decent living for their families, are doing what they do best; mending their nets. Along comes Jesus, and says to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately, Peter and Andrew leave their nets and follow Him. What kind of fragrance would cause these men to walk away from their family business, just like that? It must be incredibly strong, compelling, and so deliciously wonderful that it obviously made them stand up and take notice! When one comes into the presence of Greatness, one stands up and takes notice! I like to think that the fragrance of Christ is holiness, purity, righteousness - a rare fragrance indeed!

The scriptures also say that "we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other we are the aroma of life leading to life." (2 Corinthians 2:11-12) We are to be the fragrance of Christ to others - so compelling, so drawing that others want to know Him too. I had an experience with this. When I was 18 I was desperately looking for God and went from church to church never finding what I was looking for. After a time I settled into a small college/high school Bible study group where I found love and good friends but was no closer to God than before. Nevertheless, I stayed and after 2 years a young man came into our gathering. When he prayed there was no mistake about it - He knew God! My ears went up, my eye riveted on him, and I followed him around too shy to ask but so desperate to know what He knew. The fragrance of Christ - He was the fragrance of Christ to me. And through him, in time, I also came to know the Lord for myself.

The fragrance of Christ - holiness, purity, changing to those who will stand up and take notice!