What are the smells of Christmas? Evergreen trees giving off the purest scent of pine, peppermint sticks curved into candy canes, fresh crisp air that hits your nostrils and almost freezes your nose…all of these are wonderful, but my favorite by far is the smell of freshly baked Christmas cookies, warm, delectable and waiting to be eaten!
One year I remember a much different smell. I walked into the house after school and a putrid smell hit my nose with force. I immediately gagged and plugged my nose. It smelled like a dead animal was in the house! Anyone who knows me well, knows I am a clean freak and am EXTREMELY sensitive to smells. But someone who had a terrible cold could have smelled this smell!
As I regained my composure, and held back the desire to throw up, I realized it was coming from our Christmas tree! That beautiful pine scent was being overwhelmed by a much stronger, rotten smell! I covered my face with a cloth and went in close to the tree. Nothing seemed to be on the branches. I lifted the tree skirt to check and see if possibly something had gotten into the water.
As I lifted the tree skirt, there it was! Someone had hidden a partially eaten turkey sandwich under the skirt. Only that child(I assumed), and God, knew how many days it had laid there, rotting and turning putrid!
To this day, I do not know which of my children hid their lunch under the tree skirt so they could run and grab one of those delicious, yummy smelling Christmas cookies, for neither one of them would tell on the other. I do have my suspicions however. Let me put it this way… when they were young, my daughter ate to survive and my son survived to eat. He takes after me!
That putrid smell overwhelmed our home and left no hint of the lovely evergreen. It reminds me of the “fragrance” I bring as a gift to my Savior this Christmas.
“They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and MYRRH.” Matthew 2:11
The third gift the Wise Men brought to Jesus was that of MYRRH.
Myrrh was an expensive and valuable aromatic resinous exudation, used in perfume.
In other words, IT SMELLED GREAT!
In another story told when Jesus was a grown man, we see Mary giving Jesus a very expensive, lavish and aromatic smelling gift. She takes a bottle of pure nard, a very expensive perfume, pours it on Jesus feet, and wipes His feet with her hair. When criticized by one of the disciples for “wasting” such an expensive perfume, Jesus responds;
“Leave her alone.” John 12:7
Jesus defends her and her lavish, beautiful smelling gift. The act of giving what was valuable to her and humbling herself to anoint Jesus feet with it and wiping His feet with her hair, was what truly made the gift smell so sweet.
What does my gift to Jesus smell like this Christmas? Is it begging to have the putrid, rotting smell of that turkey sandwich as I allow my mind to go crazy and build my anxiety as I worry about shopping, wrapping, baking, and getting every little detail of Christmas perfect? Or, is it beginning to smell like sweet perfume, MYRRH if you will, as I cast my anxieties and cares on Him?
CASTING OUR CARES ON JESUS GIVES US A SWEET AROMA.
So, what kind of smell are we going to give off this Christmas season? Is it one that makes those around us want to plug their noses and run the other way, or one that draws others near as we draw near to God Himself?
Speak Truth Love