My first thought is of the thanksgiving turkey roasting in the oven when I was a kid. I also recall Buschardt Gardens in spring, or even a Fenway Frank in July. These smells are associated with some of the best moments of my life– memorable times with my family at home, holding hands with my wife in the overflowing gardens, and getting stuffed on horse-lip-meat at the 2nd best ballpark in States with my good friend Nate. Great scents have a profound impact on us. They draw us in (or are drawn into us), flood us with wonderment, and immediately fill our senses with life.
A follower of Jesus is supposed to smell great like that. 2 Corinthians 2 talks about how Christians are a "life-giving perfume" and a "sweet fragrance". The idea is that we have within us a beautiful aroma that naturally pours out. So when others encounter us they are instantly drawn to a level of wonderment that fills them with life. In our "smell" is the Good News of Jesus.
Honestly though, I have to point out that too many Christians have too often smelled like rotting fish. In the noses of many people, Christians absolutely stink. We have left them with the stench of crap in their nostrils… causing them to wince and recoil… spoiling their appetite for God. Instead of attractive aromas that people remember and treasure we can be disgusting scents. So into the rose-smelling Good News of Jesus we mingle the waft of dead fish.
As the Spirit of God works within us, 2 Corinthians 3 says, people who are being transformed by Jesus become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more. The life of Jesus, which Ephesians 5 compares to a sweet-fragrance, pours forth from us… and as a result, provides this world with fresh, clean life-giving air to breathe in deep. So take a bath today… or let Jesus wash the stinky feet of your heart… and life fresh and clean for others.