From the Director’s Desk – December 2014

Foundation of Grace

I was talking with my friend over the Thanksgiving holidays about her perfume.  “This is not the one you usually, wear,” I said to her.  “No, I’ve changed fragrances,” she responded.  The conversation continued.  We identified people by their fragrance.  My son would not leave the house without his Drakkar.  My daughter loved anything that had a hint of the scent of lily of the valley.   We named several people and their favorite scent.

The signature scent of Jesus is Grace!  His perfume fills every crack and crevice of any space He’s given to occupy.  We typically define grace as God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.  I’m not going to deny that.  It’s just so much more than that.

Grace is love’s signature fragrance.  It is atomized by Love.  There is not a place or space in life left untouched when Grace is worn.  It is sometimes the subtle scent behind warm, engaging actions.  At other times it is overpowering—impossible to miss.  You might not know what to call it, but you find yourself engulfed in its overwhelming effect.

I read the lectionary Scripture on Sunday.  Zechariah found himself chosen by lot.  (I would suggest by Grace).   He walked into the Temple with great dignity and thankfulness because the population of priests was so large at that time in the history of Israel that the odds were stacked against him of being chosen at all.

Zechariah carried not only the burdens and hopes of his people as he entered the Temple. He carried his own greatest dashed hope – the grief of a barren wife and a childless (son-less) home.   There were many things to be grateful for–his lineage, his loving wife, his position in the priesthood, among others.   So he dutifully, willingly and carefully served God that day.  But he did not serve expectantly.

As the smoke from the offering rose, its acrid odor that engulfed the sacrifice morphed to Love’s signature fragrance:  GRACE.  When time had run out for Zechariah and Elizabeth, the angel “runs in” to give Zechariah impossible news.  You and Elizabeth are going to be the new Abraham and Sarah!  God is not finished with you.  He has heard your prayers.  You will bear a son and call him John.

The entire room was filled with the dizzying fragrance of God’s Loving Grace.  He couldn’t miss the distinct scent.

I wonder how we enter this season.  Do we serve dutifully, willingly and carefully but not expectantly?  Can we smell the scent of the wonder of God’s Grace all around us in subtle and overt ways?  Or is our sense of smell blocked by unrealized dreams and longings that we secretly carry?

God’s signature fragrance of Grace is offered anew as a present and Presence for you this season!  You don’t need to worry that it will not work with your chemistry.  His scent is for everyone.

Blessings to all!

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