[The verses below are from the Complete Jewish Bible; other English translations are similar.]


“…thanks be to God, who in the Messiah constantly leads us in a triumphal procession and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of what it means to know him! For to God we are the aroma of the Messiah, both among those being saved and among those being lost; to the latter, we are the smell of death leading only to more death; but to the former, we are the sweet smell of life leading to more life.”


–2 Corinthians 2:14-16


For more use the DOOR.




   This may be a new meditational thought.

   I was struck by it this morning¹. As a writer, and former writing teacher, I’m aware of often-overlooked devices that lead to producing, and recognizing, good fiction and nonfiction. One of these is appealing to the senses–and not just to sight. There’s also hearing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Of course, rarely are all mentioned together, but rich is a piece of writing that uses several of them. Sometimes it’s that added touch that makes a piece compelling, enjoyable, and memorable.

   Enough of that!

   In Second Corinthians Paul is writing a letter dealing with sorrows and joys that have occurred by his previous encounters in and near Corinth–emotions shared by both people there (learned from reports) and him. Many had accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. And such a change has brought about happiness as well as concern.

   What hit me this morning was how Paul addresses the overall picture–using smell as a metaphor. When someone seriously accepts Jesus as Savior and Lord they smell different. It isn’t a rotten smell like what may first come mind, but a different odor that makes some uncomfortable, perhaps reminding some of another road to travel than the one they’re on, a better way to a better destination.

   To fellow believers it may be an unspoken, unexplained, recognition that they’re not alone, and they share the risks you are taking and are looking to the same rewards you are seeking. It’s an encouragement, a sense of togetherness that, perhaps, can be best explained by a metaphor.

   In this case, odor.


   ¹ when I wrote this.