Darcy asked, “Does snot smell?”… I wasn’t sure, but she had the answer, “I’ll bet we can’t smell snot because it is always in our nose!”
Which made me wonder, does everything our noses sense have a bit of a snot smell? Would everything smell different if snot didn’t exist?! As Shakespeare put it, “would a rose smell as sweet if not for snot?”
We live in this physical world. Everything we know and experience is filtered through our physical body. It is important to occasionally reflect on this truth. And to ask the question this truth begs: is there something beyond our five senses?
As Christians we believe we know the answer. Beyond what our eyes can see, or nose can smell, God exists. As Paul writes, now we see dimly, in God’s presence we will see clearly (1Cor 13:12).
To know this truth should alter how we live in this world. Christians should act differently than others in society, but how so?
I recently read a blog by a former seminary professor, Roger Olson, on “culturally accommodated Christianity” — Christians who do not live significantly different from society. Previously he wrote about Christian college’s debate among art students on painting nude models and experience lots of pushback. His points seemed to pine for the lost Christian modesty and ethic of my childhood. Growing up my difference was defined by a list of things I did NOT do. I did not cuss, I did not smoke or drink, I did not have sex before marriage (and tried not to lust!), I did not wear certain clothes ( all the more “nots” for girls), I did not…
Those non actions certainly made me different (and still make me different), but I am not sure it was the right different. As an extreme example, I don’t cuss, but, while I give away over 10%, I keep most for myself. Imagine if I cussed like a sailer but gave everything away to feed the poor. What would be more pleasing to God? What would allow me to live more like God’s reality?
I don’t have all of the answers, but I do know right actions are fundamental for each Christian. Our continual practice must be prayer and submission, wiping away this world to find Christ. We can’t rely on yesterday’s church tradition, because today’s world should sense God in us. And this is the test for our ethic: in our dos and don’ts the world should see, hear, feel, taste, even smell Jesus – for we are the “aroma of Christ“.
This Sunday we begin a new series, Soaked, based in Ezekiel 47. Join us for worship at 10:30, in-person with masks or streaming online on Facebook or Youtube.