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Fragrance for the world

Phil Sisson, 11th August 2018

A flower in a hand

Whilst on holiday in London this week I chanced upon this quote on the entrance of a garden centre.

“Be like the flower that gives its fragrance even to the hand that crushes it” Ali

My initial thoughts lead me to think of people who have left their mark on the world - Joan of Arc, Anna Frank, Emmeline Pankhurst, Edith Cavell, Rosa Parks, Malala Yousafazai, Malcolm X, Stephen Biko, Stephen Lawrence and many others came to mind.

'all of us are called upon to be that fragrance'

I continued to dwell upon other people who had been crushed for their faith and through the emergent fragrance Jesus proclaimed and lives changed for eternity through Him. Above the Great West Door of Westminster Abbey there are 10 limestones statues in niches which had previously been empty since the Middle Ages. Statues of Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Germany, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.- USA, Maximilian Kolbe - Poland, Manche Masemola - South Africa, Janani Luwum - Uganda, Grand Duchess Elizabeth ( Alice ) - Russia, Oscar Romero - El Salvador, Esther John - Pakistan, Lucian Tapiedi - Papua New Guinea and Wang Zhiming - China. All of these 20th century martyrs and many others across the world have suffered and died in the name of Christ. Not many of us will be called upon to make that ultimate sacrifice but all of us are called upon to be that fragrance.

As Susan Greenwood wrote - “As believers we have to be mindful of our fragrance to the world. Diffuse God’s love in a gentle, loving way and not be overbearing with our presentation of Christ”.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16

“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ.....”

She reminds us to:

Be likeminded with Jesus - don’t debate doctrine or morality with a non believer - be Jesus to them.

Be authentic - our words and our deeds must line up with each other and the Bible.

Be consistent - we are called to diffuse a steady flow of His love.

Be prepared - we won’t be well received by all people. The fragrance of Christ will be offensive to those who reject Him.

Eph 5:1-2 “Therefore, be imitators of God as dearly loved children, and live in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God”.