Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Heaven Scent

Not long until Chinese New Year! This is from February 7, 2011.
Much of the world, including many of my students, are celebrating Chinese New Year which in 2011 is The Year of the Rabbit. (I have found my students from Vietnam, Korea, and The Philippines prefer the term
Lunar or Asian New Year.) As you may know, I work with the Chinese speaking part of our congregation and as we often do, we ate together after morning services yesterday. Being the holiday season, it was a celebration of the New Year and the food was plentiful and the crowd was large. In addition to the meal, all of us were presented with chocolate coins and a REAL two dollar bill, something I rarely see in circulation. ON TOP OF THAT, there were door prizes! Each of us were given numbers and mine was 7; Ronnie, our eighty-one year old Taiwanese minister, told me that was a lucky number. Now, I never win anything but when they pulled winning numbers out of a basket, I won! My prize was in a beautiful gift box and I had no clue what it contained. It turned out it was a jar of fragrant oil accompanied by a bunch of thin sticks. (My lovely student teacher aide, Betsy, this morning informed me the proper term is a reed diffuser.) I saw no instructions so one of our members, Susan Hall, told me how it worked. Last night before bed, I set it up and kind of forgot about it.

Two hours ago, I walked into my apartment from school and the pool, still tinged with the smell of chlorine in spite of a post-swim shower. Immediately, I was overwhelmed with the amazing aroma from the latest addition to my living quarters; it has saturated the place and in a good way. Some of the kids at school told me these reed diffusers last a long time so I am in for months of olfactory bliss. (For the curious, the box it came in says the actual name is Archipelago Hope Holiday Diffuser and this particular one is a mixture of noble fir, balsam, and juniper. All I know is that is smells great!) Already, I have snapped close the Renuzit Super Odor Killer cone, a staple for every single guy's place, shelving it for the duration of my new diffuser. I hope it's in the cabinet for a very long time!

One of my favorite stories in the Gospels is the anointing of Jesus a week before His death at the home of Simon the Leper in the village of Bethany. There are a number of teaching points to this short story: the angry accusations by the apostles regarding the wasteful display of a year's wages worth of perfume; the disclosure in John's Gospel that Judas was a thief; the proclamation by Jesus that Mary was preparing Him for burial AND that her sacrifice would always be retold in His story. And there's this, from John 12:3- 
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
What I really like about that verse is that the house they were in reflected the gift to the Savior. You can tell alot about a house when you walk in. Is someone cooking? Do smokers live there? They must have pets! But when you entered Simon's home that night, the air was filled with the love of the Master from one of His closest disciples. My eighth graders talked today about the time Martha got mad at Mary for listening to Jesus instead of helping her cook. I asked the girls if not helping with the work described their younger sisters and they all assured me it does! But Jesus tells Martha that day that Mary chose what is better by focusing her attention on Him in a more spiritual manner. Mary chose to honor Jesus with her ears and now, right before His death, with an extravagant gift that is appreciated by the sense of smell. My apartment now also has a wonderful scent to it and I have my Chinese brothers and sisters to thank. Happy New Year and once again, we find that Mary's story being told as the Son of God prophesied two thousand years ago. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving.

Applicable quote of the day:
"Scents bring memories, and many memories bring nostalgic pleasure. We would be wise to plan for this when we plant a garden."
Thalassa Cruso

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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Crystal Mary said...

The Holy Spirit is a sweet smelling aroma. So every time you breath in, you can be reminded of that. God Bless.

Mama Chang said...

Thanks for the great posts,I feel blessed.but my eyes can't read too much color..

Sincerely from the Typing fingers of Hanna McAdams said...

Great post Coach Hawley! I miss starting my school day with you and hope all is well. Hanna

Sincerely from the Typing fingers of Hanna McAdams said...

Great post Coach Hawley! I miss starting my school day with you and hope all is well. Hanna

Beth said...

What a lovely gift, one to be enjoyed for weeks to come.

I enjoyed reading this post.

I.B.G. said...

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Anonymous said...

When I returned to my Lord Jesus Christ there was a beautiful scent that filled our room where me and my wife stay!

God's Blessings to you,