Sprinkling the Fragrance of Love

Read: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. (v. 14)

My grandmother gave me an apothecary jar of pickling spices, telling me the fragrant spices would help me remember times we had together making pickles. She told me that scents and the ability to smell them are gifts God created to stimulate our association with love. Each time I open that jar, I immediately remember her! Perhaps more than other senses, our sense of smell helps us recall certain experiences. One proverb says that “oil and perfume make the heart glad” (Prov. 27:9). Grandma’s wisdom and spice jar certainly taught me how scents can retrieve memories.

Does God have a sense of smell? He created the powerful scents of cinnamon, cloves, and coffee, so I certainly think he does. Certain stories in Scripture use fragrance to express love: Mary poured perfume on Jesus’ feet and dried them with her hair (John 12:3); a different woman on a different occasion in the house of a leper named Simon similarly poured perfume over Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:44-50); and the aromatic incense frankincense was given by the Magi to Jesus (Matt. 2:1-2, 11). Fragrances are powerful and can make costly gifts and, similarly, we can offer the fragrance of Christ’s life and love as we show and tell others the good news of Christ’s sacrifice and salvation (2 Cor. 2:14-15, 17). —Betty Kobes

As you pray, express thanks for the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ, and ask God for opportunities to share his love with others.

About the Author

Betty Kobes attended Kuyper College (formerly Reformed Bible College) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and received a bachelor of science in education and religion from Upper Iowa University. She served as teacher for 34 years in Christian and public schools. She is a member of the Immanuel Reformed Church in Belmond, Iowa, where she is active in Praise Team singing, teaching, and the Pleasant Prairie Classis Leadership Team, along with home activities of writing, gardening, walking, biking, and quilting.