Lenten Devotion, Saturday, April 16 2022

Published April 16, 2022 by Angela Spoede

Sweet Aroma of Christ

Early on in my journey as a disciple of Christ, God used a stranger—a man I had never met and have never seen again—to profoundly impact my view of my calling as a Christian. I was visiting at the hospital and feeling a little depressed and overwhelmed by the suffering there. A gentleman approached me and said, "Sister, I see that your heart is heavy. You're looking for God in all of these circumstances around you. But you need to find Him inside you—that's where He is." I was thunderstruck. I can't remember what, if anything, I said to him before he walked off.

Even decades later, this stranger's words seem profound to me. It's so tempting to see God's work in the world as something that just happens around me. But the message of the Bible seems to me to be something different. From the beginning, God chose humankind to live in unity with Him and to be His partners in creating a just and flourishing world. Although we are not (I am not) the best of partners, God has persevered in this plan, even to the point of coming to dwell among us so that He could show us the way. Christ's life and ministry modeled for us how to be partners in building the kingdom of God. Christ's death and resurrection mean that, in Christ, we ourselves become the very righteousness of God, to carry on His ministry of reconciling the world back to Himself.

Remembering that God is within me and is working through me means that I do not have to be overwhelmed by the world around me. I carry Him with me everywhere I go. 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 says: "But thanks be to God, who always leads us triumphantly as captives in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. For we are to God the sweet aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing." As we approach Easter, take a moment to reflect on how you can be the fragrance that brings life into the world around you.

Angela Spoede, along with her husband J.T. and three kids, has been a member of South Main since 2017. In addition to being a wife and mom, she works as an appellate lawyer and serves her South Main family as a deacon and Sunday School teacher.