Daily posts to help you connect with God
and keep yourself travelling in the right orbit
ORBIT | WEEK FIFTEEN
ORBIT – DAY SEVENTY
Hello and welcome to Orbit – a daily help for your faith from the youth team at St Mary’s Reigate. In the next five minutes you’ll get a bite-sized chunk of wisdom from the Bible, a chance to pray and reflect, and a way of putting this wisdom into practice in your life straight away.
BIBLE READING – 2 Corinthians 2: 14-17
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and 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. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.
Here is a question which you probably didn’t think I would ask you today: what is your favourite smell? Take a moment to think about that – I realise it’s almost a comical thing to ask – but what’s the smell, that always makes you smile?
Some of us might go for the scent of freshly-cut flowers; others our favourite perfume or cologne. Those of us who are more culinarily-inclined would perhaps choose a food or drink smell – the aroma of brewed coffee, or just-baked bread. For me, the greatest smell in the world is that encountered when the food comes out in an Indian restaurant – all those spices offering so much promise about the flavour that is to follow. My mouth is watering, even imagining it now.
In today’s passage, Paul is suggesting that we should aim to be a little bit like the smell of a fresh chicken Madras to the nostrils of a hungry curry fan. Not literally of course, but in the sense that the we are incredibly good news to the people around us; and we carry with us a kind of fragrance that brings joy to the people who inhale it. Paul says that much like a pleasant smell diffusing through an environment, God uses us to spread the more-than-pleasant knowledge of Jesus everywhere. We are, he says, the “pleasing aroma of Christ” in our communities.
What does that really mean? Perhaps it means that in the same way that the smell of freshly-baked bread makes people hungry to eat some bread, meeting us should make people hungry to meet the person who has transformed us. When people meet us, they should want to meet Jesus.
But that’s not always what happens – and Paul takes us back to the world of smells to explain. There are some people – and I feel sad for them – who do not find the smell of Indian cooking appealing at all. In fact, there are some people who think that smell is downright disgusting. Even though the food might be delicious, they are never going to try it, and the aroma is of no interest at all – in fact it sends them running to open a window.
In the same way, some people simply have no interest in meeting Jesus. They might witness a change in us, but be totally reluctant to attribute that to the existence of a loving God. The thing is, we don’t really need to worry about that. Our job is not to force people to enjoy the aroma of Christ – but simply to be that aroma. Some people will love it, and run to find the source – others will hate it, and turn their back on the very idea of Jesus. God is big enough to handle both. All we need to worry about, is making sure that we’re giving off the right smell – so to speak…
You might want to join me in praying this prayer.
Lord God, I pray that you would help me to represent you really well to the people around me. I pray that through meeting me, people might be inspired to want to meet you too. Please use me to spread the beautiful fragrance of your love. Amen
There’s now a chance for you to pray, or listen to God, or simply be still for a few moments.
Each day we will provide you with a simple challenge; something to do which helps you put this little thought into action. Here’s today’s challenge:
We have been doing orbit for 70 days now, so forgive me for the slight increase in challenge today: I want to encourage all of us today to share our faith in Jesus with someone else. Ask God for an opportunity to talk to someone else about him, and then look out for the moment when the opportunity arises. It could be a conversation with your postman, or when you’re standing in line for a coffee; it could be at the school gate or in a lesson. Be bold, and remember that the holy spirit is doing most of the work- share your faith with someone today.
If you want to get in touch, you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us on Instagram – we’re @stmarys_satellites. Let us know what you think of this daily reflection – please – we’d love your feedback.
We’ll be back with another edition of Orbit tomorrow. Thanks for taking part today!