2 Corinthians 2:12-17 (NRSV)
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.
Knowing Christ permeates every aspect our lives. This fragrance of knowing Christ in us comes through knowing Jesus. We know Jesus through devotions like this one. We experience Jesus by worshiping with other Christians. We know Jesus in all aspects of our lives. The Spirit of God uses these means to attract non-believers to Jesus by the fragrance we put off.
We can ask ourselves, “Do we stink?” When we taste and see that the Lord is good, our aroma will be sweet. However, we Christians do stink to high heaven at times! We know of times that our fragrance has been putrid as we have not lived like ones knowing Christ Jesus. Yet, in Christ our fragrance is attractive. That is the key for us.
Christ, you take us from death to death and from life to life. It is when we are found in you that we live. You have done what is necessary for us to have salvation. We want to be found as persons of sincerity, as being in you. We have not been fragrant with the fragrance that comes from knowing you. We have stunk. We turn to you so we can know you. We turn to you so we may be found to be standing in your presence and the presence of God. Lead us in triumphal procession all the way into the kingdom of God. Amen.