Monday, May 7, 2012

smell of death

Sometimes as a pastor is running around back stage he has a completely different spiritual experience than the congregation. I think, some of this is due to the fact that God is working in the pastor's heart in a different way...moving his spirit by the HOly Spirit...a heightened spiritual awareness. This was my experience yesterday as my day was centered on two main events. Smell number one was due to baptism Sunday. We experienced 49 baptisms in three services after we preached from Genesis and God making "living breathing" beings and how Jesus breaths new life into us spiritually by His Spirit. After a while, as baptisms mount, the baptism ready area gets a distinctly wet smell. There are wet baptismal clothes, wet towels, water all over the floor, my shirt is wet...I'm sure I'm not describing it well, but there is a distinct smell of wetness - and for me this is the smell of death. Baptism is a picture of our self, to sin, to this world - and yesterday I could smell it. Praise God that since we are buried with Him in baptism, we also raise to new life in Him. Smell number two was due to the flowers on the other side of the stage. You see, the other ministry opportunity for me on Sunday was to conduct a funeral for Richard Gilmore. The visitation was in our auditorium Saturday from 3-7 (aren't you amazed at how our staff gets stuff cleaned up and ready for church on Sunday) and the flowers were stored behind the stage area in the dock (cross side). When I walked back there after baptizing several people, the smell of flowers overwhelmed me. Now, I know the flowers smell good, but when there are so smells like death to me, because this smell only happens at funerals. In fact, it was another distinct smell. Praise God, Richard was a follower of Jesus and is enjoying resurrection today. These two came together yesterday to remind that "I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life I now live in the body I live by faith in the son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me" Galatians 2:20 That's the sermon I smelled yesterday and am still catching it's fragrance this morning.

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