Do you renounce
the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of your sin?
Do you accept
the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
Do you confess
Jesus Christ as your Savior,
put your whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as your Lord,
in union with the Church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, and races?
According to the grace given to you,
will you remain faithful members
of Christ’s holy Church
as Christ’s representatives
in the world?
They offer to the Lord every morning and every evening burnt-offerings and fragrant incense — 2 Corinthians 13; 11a
Hearing. Seeing. Tasting. Smelling. Touching.
If you had to lose one of your senses, which one would it be? I’ve thought about this before, and for me the answer is always the same. I’d say goodbye to my nose.
I wouldn’t want to give up my eyesight. I couldn’t watch movies, or enjoy a sunset. Likewise, I couldn’t give up my hearing because I wouldn’t be able to listen to music.
Tasting? Hey-I love watermelon and nachos way too much for that. Touching? It’s a more subtle sense, but it would effect everything I did. Every embrace, every gentle breeze. I don’t think I could give that up.
It comes down to my sense of smell. Don’t get me wrong, I love the smell of popcorn, or a campfire, or a flower, and I understand that smell effects how things taste, but if I had to give one up, that’s the one I’d have to choose.
Do you agree with my choice? (You can vote down below) I get the feeling God might not.
In Old Testament times the Priests thought God had a big nose. A lot of what they would do to please God had to do with smell. First, there were the sacrifices. Twice or more a day they’d offer burnt sacrifices–like meat on a barbecue grill–because they believed the delicious smell would float up to God, and make God happy. (I can certainly relate!)
And then they’d light incense, there in the temple. The delicate fragrance would lift up to God, to delight God’s sense of smell. Apparently conventional wisdom had it that the way to God’s heart was through God’s proboscis!
Hmm. Maybe I’ve short changed the power of smell. I’ve read that smell is the most powerful trigger of memory. And it’s true–the smell of the ocean breeze or a hot parking lot or the skin of a baby can evoke the most powerful responses in me. Now I’m not so sure I’d be willing to cut off my nose to spite my face after all.
Actually, as time went on, God made it clear that the quickest way to God’s heart wasn’t just through the nose, but through faithful living. You can only bring home a bunch of fragrant flowers to apologize so many times. Eventually, you have to change the way you live. So, in the New Testament, the focus isn’t on pleasing God’s senses, but pleasing God’s sensibilities.
Hey, it may be true. God may have a big nose. But the size of God’s heart is what matters most. The same is true with us. These marvelous senses God gave us make life rich and enjoyable, but it’s only the connection between our heart and God’s heart that can ever truly satisfy. I think Love might just be the 6th sense, and all the others are simply supporting players.
I wouldn’t want to do without any of them, but I do know this.