For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
~2 Corinthians 2:15
Ah, the aromas of Christmas...gingerbread, fresh coffee, pine boughs, cinnamon pine cones, cloved ham, mulled cider, candy canes, PIE...yum! For me, smells are memory joggers. Familiar smells bring back the feelings and memories of whole episodes of my life. And scents are important to God too. The Bible often speaks of the aromas of burning meat or of incense going up to God as a sacrifice. And that's what Paul is saying to the Corinthians. We need to let our lives be a fragrant sacrifice to God. And that aroma of Godliness and the Good News will either attract some to us or repel some from us. Jesus came on Christmas day to make his entire life a sacrifice for God on our behalf. His sacrifice didn't start on Good Friday, it began in consenting to come down to earth to dwell among us...Emmanuel, God with us.
Sacrifice is good for us -- it keeps us humble; it makes us compassionate; it sets our hearts and minds on Jesus and his work. Times are tough. Joblessness is staggering. COVID is resurging with a vengeance. The world seems cold and cruel to many people in the world and in our neighborhoods. If you know the warmth of Christ and the hope of Christmas, then I urge you to make some sacrifices this year: a little more intentional time with the family, calls to shut-ins, cards to neighbors; a little more money in the donation buckets, a few more canned goods to the food banks, a few more bags of clothes to the needy, a few more coats or socks or toys in the donation boxes. We can have gifts under the tree spilling out into the room, but these things will rust, deteriorate or break eventually. However, our good works will earn us treasure in Heaven that will last forever -- as will the souls of those we bring to Christ. If you have a heart to give, Compassion International is one of my favorite charities. Here is a link to their Christmas Gifts page: https://www.compassion.com/charitable-gift-catalog.htm. And of course there are the Advent Missions of our church, and our church itself (Hereford Faith & Life)!
God bless you and your family and friends as you prepare Him room in your homes and hearts for Christmas this year!
Jennifer Fefel Jahromi