“For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death to leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life to leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” (2 Corinthians 2:15-17 NKJV)
When I entered the grocery store last week, something was different. Not just the lineups, the tape on the floor marking lanes, and the staff who were directing people to the checkout. Not just the empty shelves. It was the silence. Deafening. People were moving like zombies down the aisles, looking at the floor, their cart, the shelf, focused as if bent on a serious mission. No eye contact. No chatter. The air was heavy with worry and fear. It was oppressive.
I don’t think that I am an optimist by nature, but the joy of the Lord in my soul is like a cork that bobs up and rides the waves in a storm. My faith in God carries me day by day. What can I do here? I thought. What I always do when I shop: hum a song, talk to people, smile, and depending on the response, comment on God’s goodness. By the time I got to the checkout, somehow, the mood had shifted, and people were talking to one another, albeit at a respectful distance, of course. The cashier smiled and even laughed.
On the way home, I thought about the difference that Christians can make in their community by bringing the presence of Christ into a situation. By being who we are in Christ and by releasing joy, hope, peace, love, and faith wherever we are, we make a difference. We are the fragrance of Christ to God and to those around us. This we can do.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we get self-absorbed and forget that You are with us, in us. Help us to live the joy, peace, hope, and love that we have through faith in You. May we be the fragrance of life to those around us, especially in these days when so many are filled with anxiety and despair. We thank You for all Your blessings. They are new every morning. You are a faithful God! Amen.
Nan St. Louis
Durham, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from the PresbyCan Daily Devotional with the author’s permission