Garden scents are elusive. You suddenly catch them unexpectedly yet you’re not sure where they come from. Having caught a whiff, you are captivated. You want more and you are irresistibly drawn to search for the source. Moving closer you get the full scent and you breath it in with deep satisfaction and pleasure. Sometimes scents bring back memories of happy experiences in the past, and you crave for more.
’God…in Christ..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…..The fragrance of life.’ (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
Christian believers should carry about with them the ‘fragrance of Christ’. There is something about them that attracts attention. Seeing the disciples in the early days of the church, people ‘took note that these men had been with Jesus’ (Acts 4:13).
There was a loveliness and attractiveness that turned people’s heads to look and want to discover the source, and not a few were captivated and drawn to become followers of Jesus too .
People in general do not read the Bible in this country, but they do see the lives of Christians around them. The Apostle Paul said that the Christian friends to whom he wrote were like ‘living letters’, seen and read by all. As well as the 4 Gospels, there is also a 5th, ‘The Gospel according to you’. This is the only Gospel most people outside the church will ever read.
My life needs to reflect Christ and shine with a beauty not my own. One poem of G.M.Hopkins refers to Christ being seen
‘in a thousand men’s faces
Is he seen in mine?
Have I looked into the ‘mirror’ recently ?
‘And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.’2 Corinthians 3:18
A famous pianist once admitted:
‘When I stop practising the piano for a day then I notice it. When I stop for 3 days my wife notices. However, when I stop for a whole week my audience notices it !’
When we take our eyes off Jesus and cease to meditate upon him our Christian life deteriorates noticeably. What does our ‘audience’ notice ? Are our hearts in step with the tempo of heaven? Do we remind people around us of the melodies of Christ’s glorious presence?
‘Shall not thy rose my garden fresh perfume?From ‘Reflection’ by Edward Taylor – 17th century American poet.
Shall not thy beauty my dull heart assail?
Shall not thy golden gleams run through this gloom?
Shall my black velvet mask thy fair face veil?
Pass o’er my faults: shine forth, bright sun: arise
Enthrone thy rosy-self within mine eyes.‘