I happen to have a keen sense of smell, which most of the time is a good thing. I love sticking my nose in roses, drinking in the perfume of their fragrance. I love the sweet smell of babies and the varied man-made products that delight this over-active sense of smell I live with.
Today on my walk at the Community Center the strong aroma of cut grass hit my nostrils as my feet hit the walking path. I love that smell so I breathed in deeply. I realized that even if I were not blessed with the sense of sight I would know grass was being cut. And even if I didn’t have the sense of hearing that told me the lawn mowers were busily at work, my sense of smell granted me the knowledge that the acres of green grass were getting a haircut. The fact that became apparent to me was that I do not smell grass on the other non-gardening days, only on the days the grass is being trimmed. It is in the trimming (pruning) process that the delightful smell is released. I realized that the same thing holds true of me (and you). My true aroma (other than the Estee Lauder Youth Dew I spray on each day) is released when I am pruned. If I am filled with an unforgiving heart or anger, a very unpleasant aroma comes forth from me. But, if instead, I am filled with forgiveness, patience, love (I should say the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) then what will pour out as the Master Gardner prunes me will be pleasing to Him and attractive to others. II Corinthians 2:15 says, “For we are to God the aroma of Christ.” So, I definitely want to be a most pleasing aroma to God as He has given me the gift of His Spirit. Since I do not know when a pruning experience will arrive I need to go home and focus on what’s inside of me more than on my outward appearance. Others around me may also have a keen sense of smell and I want to produce a pleasant aroma rather than a stench.
“As our church family has focused on forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, and glorifying God, I believe a pleasing fragrance is being emitted as we move forward to be a church that is an aroma of Christ.”
Dr. Dennis Baker, who is helping to guide Trinity Church during the pastoral search process, gave the Sunday morning sermon recently. He concluded his words with a story of a man who attended worship in attire that didn’t match the rest of the congregation. The pastor took the man aside and told him to talk with God about proper church attire before returning to their church. The next week the man showed up wearing the same ragged clothes and the pastor took him aside once again and said, “I thought you were going to talk with God about proper attire before returning to our church!” The man replied, “I did and God said He didn’t have a clue because He’s never been here.”
Well, God is definitely at Trinity Church, and He has been doing some pruning of us over this past year. As our church family met for our annual Congregational Meeting an overview of the past year was shared. The budget was presented, the pastoral search team was introduced, respectful questions were asked and answered, and the congregation voted to approve our new budget with no dissent. As our church family has focused on forgiveness, healing, reconciliation, and glorifying God, I believe a pleasing fragrance is being emitted as we move forward to be a church that is an aroma of Christ. As The Lord continues His pruning process of us individually and as a church body, let’s be reminded with every lawn mowing we experience just what type of fragrance we want to give to God, our neighbors, and the world. I truly believe it will be a pleasing and honoring fragrance as we are a community of Christ-followers longing to glorify God by loving God, loving people, sharing the Gospel, and serving the world.
By Linda Arnett