There’s nothing quite like walking into a bakery, to be greeted by the sweet smell of fresh breads and pastries. Or waking up to the aroma of freshly-brewed coffee and sizzling bacon. If you linger in the bakery for a time, or stand by the bacon as it fries, there’s a good chance you’ll carry the fragrance with you for a while – a wonderful reminder of where you’ve been and what you’ve experienced.
Paul writes that our lives are to be “a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God” (2 Corinthians 2: 15). This only happens when we linger in close proximity to Jesus himself, so that his fragrance sticks to us. We do this through our time spent with Christ in daily prayer, meditation, the study of God’s word, and the living out of our faith. The closer we get to Jesus, and more time we spend with him, the more his aroma will seep into us – and others will see Jesus living through us.
As I close my series on prayer, Mother Teresa offers these lovely words to Christ, thanking him for the privilege of being his perfume to the world. Let us pray:
Dear Jesus, help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly
that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with
may feel your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus.
Stay with us and then we shall begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be light to others.
The light, O Jesus, will be all from you.
None of it will be ours.
It will be you shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise you in the way you love best
by shining on those around us.
Let us preach you without preaching,
not by words, but by our example;
by the catching force –
the sympathetic influence of what we do,
the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to you.