Todays thought comes from Joan and follows on from what she shared yesterday during our service.
We are the fragrance of Christ!
I love what it says in 2 Cor. 2: 14, “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.” Paul uses the image of a Roman victory parade to describe his calling as a follower of Jesus. It would be tempting to think that he should be celebrating a victory, but he is describing himself as being part of the parade of those who have been taken captives! It is from this position of weakness that he regards his life and his living for God as being the fragrance of Christ.
Wherever we are today and tomorrow, as we seek to live for God and embody the message of Jesus in the people that we are and are becoming, we are the fragrance, the aroma of Jesus. This does not depend on us being successful, well-known, highly talented, or being able to cope well with life. This depends simply on us being willing to be followers of Jesus – to be part of his victory parade, which can sometimes be anything but glorious here on earth.
As a church at this time we cannot do events for ourselves or as a way of engaging with others in the communities where we live and work and where we meet in Hansfield. Mission is not primarily about doing (though as Paul says it involves doing), but about being followers of Jesus and embodying his character in all of our lives. Anything we do either now and in the future follows from this as we are in practice the fragrance of Christ to those around us.
We are and can do that now with those we live with, those we wave to or nod at from a 2m. distance, those we email, phone, text, write to, message on Facebook Instagram etc. As we seek to follow Jesus and embody the gospel, God is spreading the fragrance of Christ in our homes, our work, our neighbourhoods, wherever we are and whoever we are in contact with.
We might feel our lives are small and insignificant, that we are weak and limited in what we feel we are able to do, but as we seek to follow Jesus there is a fragrance from our lives – a fragrance that is spreading and will be noticed as we share our lives as those “sent from God (v.17).
Covid 19 is spreading illness, fear and anxiety, and, for some, death. We know something that is infinitely more powerful and invasive; the message of Jesus/the love of God. This has far more impact than Covid-19!
Today and every day let us each think how, by following Jesus and shaping our lives according to his pattern, we can be the fragrance of Jesus for others.