Being saturated by the Word of God …and spreading His fragrance everywhere.
Gazing on Jesus’ face …and carrying His reflection to the world all around.
These are the desires of my heart that were reignited within me again as I recently read Second Corinthians. In the passages (chapters 2-5 in particular) Paul compels us to be totally yielded to Jesus, pouring out our lives completely for Him, and persuading others to believe in Him. It’s only in Christ’s presence that these desires can become our own. And, it’s only in His presence that we can become like Him –carrying His aroma and reflection everywhere we go so the world may believe.
During the Christmas season our eyes are drawn to all the attractive lights, tinsel and sparkle that bring merriment and cheer to the longest of darkest nights. At the same time, our nose draws in the most beautiful of seasonal fragrances: “cinnamon and spice and all that is nice” like baked goods, hot apple cider, candles –even wood fires and Christmas trees. While all of these are a special part of the festive season, let us also consider what reflection and fragrance we are carrying.
Its easy to be discouraged when we look at ourselves and the situations we personally experience. Our body may not always be in its prime. People may let us down. Our investments may incur unexpected losses. Dreams and ambitions may come to naught. But if we focus our gaze on such predicaments (none of which their opposite outcome would ever be capable of our true satisfaction in the first place), we’ll not only end up being discouraged ourselves, we’ll also be a stench to all those around and the reflection we carry will be that of depression, anxiety and stress.
Instead, let our one desire, our ultimate longing, be to gaze on our Saviour’s face, soaking in His presence and glory. There is joy in His presence and eternal pleasures at His right hand (Psalm 16:11). In His presence heaven and earth become one. Troubles, sorrows, difficulties and challenges flee away. In His presence, He cannot disappoint. He wipes away tears. He gives assurance that He is near.
As we gaze on Jesus; as we dive and delve and go deep into His Word; as we spend time in His presence –we will reflect His glory and spread His fragrance. We are His glory carriers. We are His vessels of incense. Some will love us for it, just as they loved Him. Some will hate us for it and reject us, just as they hated and rejected Him (Luke 10:16).
Why was Jesus, the Saviour of the world, prophesied as a man of sorrows (Isaiah 53:3)? Maybe it was because He knew some would reject Him and in so doing would also reject life eternal in the Kingdom of God. While it is true everyone has a choice, let us still make the most of every opportunity to reflect Jesus to the world –no matter the cost.
In us may others see the King of kings, the Prince of peace, Emmanuel –God with us. He dwells in those who are being saved –those who have received Him as their Saviour. We are carriers of His presence and of His glory. We bring true Emmanuel among the people of this world today. We bring the glory that will cover the earth. As we go out to the world reflecting His glory, we give those around us glimpses of who He is –ushering them into encounters of His glory, of His presence. “Let the whole earth be covered with His glory” (Psalm 72:19; Habakkuk 2:14) begins with you and me.
At this Christmas season and all year through, may we be the brightest and most pleasant of all spectacular displays and delectable aromas as we reflect our Saviour’s face and permeate His sweet fragrance. In doing so, we will bring Hope to the hopeless, Love to the loveless, and Jesus to all.