Great Plains Daily Devotional for 4/1/2022

Today please be in prayer for

Pastor of Recovery Ministries
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Adult Discipleship Lead Director
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
West Mission Engagement Program Director
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District
Online Connections & Care Pastor
Leawood: UM Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City District

Today's Devotional

The lavender candle burns brightly on my kitchen counter. It provides a light like Jesus is a light, and it is something else as well. It offers the fragrance of holiness. The lovely, calming aroma it emits may be like the fragrance accompanying the pound of costly perfume Mary used to anoint Jesus' feet. We do not know precisely what scent Mary's perfume had, and it might have been rose, honeysuckle, vanilla, or Old Spice. I imagine it as beautiful. In this case, it marked something as unique as holy. The fragrance lent a scent of the sacred to Jesus.

The scent filled the entire space; it must have engulfed those present and filled them to overflowing. Indeed, this would have been an extraordinary experience. In general, such a happening would mark the place, the person, the event as holy.
However, a problem arises in attributing holiness only to lovely scents or scenes.

What about the stench that engulfs those with filthy bodies and unwashed clothes? Does holiness exist with them? How about the stink of rotting food in a tumbledown apartment or in a refrigerator stuffed so full that much of its contents are forgotten? Could God be present in either of these situations? What about the reek of untended illness or festering injury within a community without medicines or medical care?

Holiness could not be part of that mix.

Nothing holy could exist in such situations. God cannot be present in gross, disgusting scenarios like these. Or, can God be there? Do we need to be the means by which the clothes get washed, or the apartment gets cleaned? How can we make ourselves available to pour the love of God into repulsive settings? Can we help transform the stink into the scent of lovely flowers? Perhaps with our efforts, the fragrance of holiness could overcome the world's stench. Let's give it a try.

-Rev. Dianne Tombaugh
Retired Elder

dtombaugh@greatplainsumc.org

Prayer for Reflection

Holy God. Remind us that you are present in beauty and in stickiness, in stink and in fragrance. Use us to transform our part of the world to be more holy.
 

 

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