Ephesians 4:25-5:2 (NRSV)
Verse 25So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Verse 26Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, Verse 27and do not make room for the devil. Verse 28Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Verse 29Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. Verse 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Verse 31Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, Verse 32and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Chapter 5Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, Verse 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
This letter taps into the sense of smell. The author challenges us to live our lives as fragrant offerings to God. The imagery leaves me wondering, “What does a life of faith smell like?”
Smell, though, is a sense that is intensely tied to memory. A certain, even subtle whiff of something might take you right back to the first house you ever lived in or into the company of a loved one who died years ago. Smells can get an imagination running in no time.
This passage, then, makes me think back to all the different ways that I learned what a life of faith is like. Stir up your own memory. Who are the people who taught you about God’s love? What experiences stick out in your mind when you think about the values that you hold dear today? How did you get here?
God, thank you for the good memories that we hold close to our hearts: for mentors of faith, for times of growth, and for moments of confidence and hope. Amen.