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2 Corinthians 2:11-17, Paul’s Anxiety in Troas

Confession: I’m a Bath and Body Works junkie. I have entirely too many body washes in my bathroom. They have amazing scents with whimsical names: Moonlight Path, Endless Weekend, Honolulu Sun. Why, you might ask, does anyone need more than one body wash? Simple: every day brings a new opportunity to start off with a mood. Twilight Woods makes me feel like fall, with a cool breeze and the comfort of home. Mad About You has a rosy scent, which makes me feel like Alice in Wonderland, ready to face the challenges and joys of a world gone mad. Sea Island Cotton gives the me confidence to stand up to giants. My scents set the scene for my day.

Paul used aroma as a metaphor for the spreading of the good news of the risen Christ. Of course he did… he knew that scents are powerful and meaningful. Who doesn’t know the scent of death? Anyone who’s been to a funeral home or has buried a pet knows the scent of death. And who doesn’t know the scent of life? Anyone who’s held a newborn baby or buried their nose in the neck of their lover knows the scent of life. The pitfalls of the world smell like death. The good news of Christ is the scent of life. As you go about your day, take note of the smells around you. What does your life smell like?

2 Corinthians 2:11-17

And we do this so that we may not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.

When I came to Troas to proclaim the good news of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said farewell to them and went on to Macedonia. But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.