I just love this time of year. The trees are starting to turn color and I hear the rustle of leaves as they fall to the ground. As my grandfather used to say, the earth is getting ready to hibernate and pretty soon the farmers will rest from their labors all year and enjoy the break before the new life of spring and the repetition of the circle of life.
One of the things I like best about this time of year is the smell of burning leaves and the start of the season of logs burning in the fireplace. The first time you open the door and smell that familiar aroma of the season’s first fire is just unforgettable for me. I remember the burning pile behind the back of my grandfather’s garage and how we would sit out there and watch the smoke curl up through the air as the branches and leaves collected from the summer burned to ashes. I cherish those memories.
Or how about when we used to rake the leaves into the street and burn them along the curb. That was back in the day when you could do things like that without fear of getting fined. You would smell like smoke for weeks after spending the day with the rake out in the street playing in the pile before you burned them.
The Bible is full of instances of burnt offerings and we are told throughout the Old Testament that the aroma of the offerings was pleasing to God. When I first started to read the Scriptures I found it difficult to understand this, but the offerings were acts of obedience and worship to God. And that pleased the Father. There were very specific ways to present the offerings and even aliens in the land had to follow the prescribed way to give the offerings to God. There wasn’t any room for error.
Today, some religions still offer the burning of incense to the Lord. This is symbolic of the days of old and the aroma of the offering making its way to the Lord. While most of the biblical references are on the Old Testament, there are several references to fragrance and aroma in the New Testament. The verse for this evening is from 2Cor. 2:14, “But 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. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
Basically, this passage actually refers to believers as the aroma of Christ. We are the way that others come to the saving knowledge of a relationship with Jesus. And just like the fragrance of the offering is pleasing to God, so we are pleasing to God when we reach out to others and spread the knowledge of God. My encouragement this evening is that obedience to God is something that is good for us and pleasing to God. My prayer is that you will remember how pleasing the aroma of fall is to most of us and how much more pleasing to God we can be when we dedicate our lives and our best efforts to Him. Have a great day in the Lord grace and peace…