"But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are perishing…” – 2 Cor. 2:14-15
Do you like a victory parade? Just the phrase brings to mind a Norman Rockwell sort of scene with a charming small town, streets lines with onlookers, a marching band, waving beauty queens, heroes and dignitaries.
The Romans had a victory parade too. It was called the Roman Triumph. The conquering general would ride in a golden chariot toward his king surrounded by his officers. The spoils of war were displayed along with the people who had been taken captive. Roman Priests carried incense and flowers were thrown on the path to be crushed under the hooves of the horses. The fragrance of the incense and crushed flowers must have been powerful.
Pauls’ analogy was clear to the Corinthians. In light of the victory that happened at the cross, Jesus Christ is the honored general leading us, Christians under his command, on a triumphal precession to our God and king. The forces of evil are put to shame and displayed for all to see. And through us, Christ spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere we go. To quote my friend Paul Helbig, “Smells like God!”
Lord, let us be a sweet fragrance to you and to all we encounter day in and day out. I pray that the love of Christ would draw people to your kingdom like a baking cake draws people to the kitchen. Let us interact with people of all faiths, backgrounds and political persuasions in a manor that is attractive. And with that display of love, let the forces of darkness tremble. Amen.