Last Friday I had the opportunity to clean Private Cabin #2 pretty thoroughly. Everything but the shower and the bathroom floor…and I totally could have done those too, but I’d spent 2 hours cleaning and was ready for a little sit down before the marriage retreat at camp started.
I don’t know if this is the same for anyone else, let alone everyone, but one of my criteria for a good laundry detergent is that the scent sticks with the clothes that you wash as you wear them. Today I am basking in the success of my particular detergent/softener selection as I can really smell it. Bath and Body Works has a scent called Sea Cotton Breeze which reminds me of laundry-scent. Kind of an unusual skin-scent, but pleasant nonetheless.
I’m kind of thinking along the lines of the aroma of Christ as I breathe in the clean scent. Here’s 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.
It’s a really fitting illustration of our “cleanliness” and “righteousness” in Christ alone…it’s not hard to imagine that aroma being pleasing to God, and it’s also something which I can see drawing people in (hence fragrance of life). I don’t really get the smell of death part…is that the offended folks? The blasphemers of the Spirit who reject salvation?
Verse 17 has stood out to me before too, and I think its timing is appropriate. Confirmation day is coming up for our 8th graders and I don’t want to fall into the trap of peddling the Gospel. I read a kind of hard-to-follow chapter from Blue Like Jazz where Donald Miller related a story of his teaching in a college ministry setting that was more or less fake peddling and then how he came to a point of being real with God again, and though I am far from enjoying the kudos and “success” of my Bible teaching ventures (this is something to be pleased about, especially in this context), I want so badly for them to get it, to own it, to claim it that I nearly forget that it isn’t my job to sell the Gospel to them.
I came to the office today to do some work for Perspectives before braiding some hair…but the talk isn’t online yet for the session I missed. I did other stuff, but I have an hour to fill. Hmm. Should have brought a book with me. Or my homework. 🙂
happy monday to you, regardless.