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Friday, 1 June 2012

The Fragrance of Spring

Walking down the drive with Dusty this morning, my nostrils were greeted with the glorious fragrance of spring blossom. The flowers on the broom, flame-yellow, have that slight aroma of coconut – delicious.

Sad, then, to see so much blossom already dying on the ground where it’s fallen. It doesn’t last long. Of course, if the blossom is from a fruit-bearing tree, although the blossom is on the ground the fruit is beginning to sprout on the trees – hope of a feast to come. Cherries are the fruits along our drive. Usually the birds harvest most of the sweet, tiny dark cherries, known locally as ‘geens’. But if we’re quick enough, we’ll rescue a few, and enjoy their juicy flesh.

Paul writes about the fragrance of Jesus. It is the essence of pure love, sacrificial, unconditional, eternal. He says to the Corinthians that God spreads the aroma of the knowledge of Christ through believers, arousing a reaction among those with whom we mix. Those whose faith is in Christ smell that delicious scent of blossom, with the promise of fruit to come, fruit for the hungry. Those hungry may find the aroma arouses an appetite in them to know God, a spiritual hunger and thirst they never before experienced.  And the promise of Jesus is that whoever comes to him will never be turned away.

There are also people, however, who will find the fragrance of Jesus to be a stench that wrinkles the nose and causes them to turn away in disgust. Some will choose to seek to satisfy spiritual hunger and thirst in other ways. 

Of course it is true that in every generation, there are Christians who are Christians in name more than in heart, expressing itself in attitude and action. Those who are quick to judge, quick to condemn, self-righteous and proud. Such ‘Christians’ do give off a stench of death and bring the name of Jesus into disrepute. 

It’s so important for believers to spend enough time marinating in Jesus, so that the scent they carry is attractive and true. Any one of us could fall into the trap of busyness in church activities especially, which robs us of time spent lingering in the presence of Jesus, and which then allows the fragrance in us to go sour and our witness to become off-putting to the world.

Today I pray that the fragrance of Jesus in me bears fruit that nourishes the dry and hungry spirits of others.

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