Christians are called to be salt and light. I get the impression from Jesus that this wasn’t meant to be a Sunday and Wednesday affair only. I mean, what if he really meant for us to take our faith seriously? Of course you recognize my sarcasm, as we open. We need to reminded that God wants us to be his ambassadors everywhere. I love the imagery Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 of a triumphal procession and the aroma of Christ. He writes, “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. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?” We are called to smell for Jesus. To really stink it up. For some people, we smell like life. But for others, we reek of death. These verses place a high emphasis on followers of Jesus to allow God to work in us everywhere we go.
Yesterday at McDonald’s, after church, my family and I were hungry. My wife took our girls to the restroom, and then alone in a corner booth I was sitting when a man approached me and asked for spare change. Why do I always get hit up for spare change? I wanted to say, “dude, I am a Youth Minister, I don’t have any money.” But, I had a choice to make. This man was different than me in every way imaginable but one, he too is creation of God. I chose to recognize the child of God as a needy vessel, just like myself. This man recognized me in my “church clothes.’ I could of told him to leave me be. I am to busy to help. Remember, we are called to spread the fragrance of Jesus everywhere. Everywhere includes outside of church at McDonald’s too. While I am confident I shared the aroma of Jesus and met this guys needs at the counter with a Quarter Pounder. I think I smelled Jesus too. In a moment of clarity, this man who was different than me, who smelled in need of a shower and a fresh shirt, he demonstrated the other side of Paul’s verse. While we go around leaving the aroma of Christ everywhere, may our noses not get to important to recognize when God shows up as the least of these, and doesn’t quite look like us, or smell like us.
Isn’t it just like Jesus to show up in unexpected place. Before my wife and girls even got back to the table where I was waiting, they never saw this man. They didn’t smell or see what I saw. May we all have noses to sniff out God’s work in the world!