2 Cor 2:14-16 (NIV) But thanks be to God, who … uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
At our Soup Pot this week (every Friday our church provides a bowl of soup, bread and butter, a sausage roll, crisps, chocolate biscuits and a hot drink to the needy in our town), a lady was sharing her difficulties with having to attend a training course so that she can continue to receive her benefits. She has arthritis in her knees, is prone to panic attacks, and has other health challenges, but has been declared fit for work. But she doesn’t feel able enough to take on the challenge of a job. So we listened and made encouraging noises, before she left. Afterwards, frustration was expressed about not having an opportunity to bring Jesus into the conversation. And then, someone else shared a snippet he had read in the news about a man who, through homelessness, was forced to use a soup kitchen run by a big city church. However, before they could eat, they had to sing a hymn and pray, something he much resented.
Perhaps the right approach was beautifully put by Paul in today’s text, in that we are the fragrance, or aroma, of Christ, pleasing to those who are around us, whether they are Christians or not. The thing about a fragrance, if suitably applied, is that it will not be “in your face” but, by its very presence, will please and bless those around us. Sometimes I think we underestimate just how much of a fragrance we are, as we meet those around us in our daily walk. A kind word, a good deed, a listening ear – all can be the “fragrance of Christ” to those we meet. So I would encourage you this week to look for opportunities to be the “fragrance of Christ” in our homes, families, workplaces, churches, supermarkets; in fact any situation where we meet people.