When I was a boy, I thought my grandmother smelled like the prettiest lady in the world. She came from the day when a lady didn’t leave the house without a proper dress, handbag, hat, and gloves. To this day when I smell a certain perfume, I am immediately transported back in time to walking hand in hand with my grandmother.
But that makes sense, because the sense of smell is one of the most powerful memory tools we humans posses. The sense of smell plugs into memories and feelings. Powerful!
This is why the sense of smell is always employed in Orthodox worship. We mean to tie the soul to God using every ability He has given us.
It is also why the Apostle Paul writes what he writes to the Church in Corinth in our Epistle Lesson today: “BRETHREN, thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:14-17
Who knew knowledge had a smell?
You’ve been in situations where you may have commented “Something just doesn’t smell right about this!”
Well, the Apostle tells us that, depending on the hearts of those around you, a consistent Christian life smells like heaven to some and hell to others. Our practice of the faith daily sends out the aroma of hope to those looking for God. And the stench of condemnation to those who are running from God.
Today, the challenge before us is to so practice our faith, be actually transformed by our faith, that the true nature of he hearts around us are revealed.
Today, do you smell like heaven? Do those around you pick up the aroma of one in intimate relationship with Christ? Can you say to the spiritually seeking people you will meet today “Follow your nose. It will take you to Him!”