Thursday, October 12, 2017

When the Fragrance in the Air Smells Like Home

The gate for my flight out of Chicago was in the International Terminal. It was twenty minutes away from where I'd entered the airport, the security guard told me. A long walk, a quick train ride, and another long walk and I was there. A turn to the right and the gate sign was clearly visible. 

My nose told me I was in the international terminal well before my eyes did. The aromas of the not-so-American spices filled the air, and I stopped to breathe in the foreign fragrance. The further I traveled, the stronger the aroma grew.

When I stepped off the last plane and entered the final airport terminal, the heady scent of foreign lands greeted me like a warm embrace. 

"I'm home," I thought for just a second before I remembered I'd left home to come here.

The apostle Paul used the imagery of fragrance more than once. In his letter to the Ephesians, he described the sacrifice of Christ by His love as a fragrant aroma. 

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2 nasb

The word translated as "love" is agape and can also be translated as "love-feast." The "fragrant aroma" metaphorically represents a "thing well-pleasing to God."

Selah. Ponder that for a moment.

As disciples, we are to live in such a way that our lives are literally a continuing love-feast of obedience to Christ. When we share such a feast of love, we'll emit a sweet fragrance that will be well-pleasing to our Lord. 

I don't live in a continuing love-feast of obedience, but I wish I did. Don't you? 

Today, let's surrender those things that keep us from pouring out love on all those we meet. Pray that we'll be filled with the same river of love that flowed from Christ so that we, too, can be a fragrant aroma that's well-pleasing to our Lord.
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