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Listen while you read: "Father We Thank Thee"1 (Lyrics)
2 Corinthians 2:15-17 – For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death to leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life to leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. (NKJV)
When I entered the grocery store last week, something was different. Not just the lineups, the tape on the floor marking lanes, and the staff who were directing people to the checkout. Not just the empty shelves. It was the silence. Deafening. People were moving like zombies down the aisles, looking at the floor, their cart, the shelf, focused as if bent on a serious mission. No eye contact. No chatter. The air was heavy with worry and fear. It was oppressive.
I don't think that I am an optimist by nature, but the joy of the Lord in my soul is like a cork that bobs up and rides the waves in a storm. My faith in God carries me day by day. What can I do here? I thought. What I always do when I shop: hum a song, talk to people, smile, and depending on the response, comment on God's goodness. By the time I got to the checkout, somehow, the mood had shifted, and people were talking to one another, albeit at a respectful distance, of course. The cashier smiled and even laughed.
On the way home, I thought about the difference that Christians can make in their community by bringing the presence of Christ into a situation. By being who we are in Christ and by releasing joy, hope, peace, love, and faith wherever we are, we make a difference. We are the fragrance of Christ to God and to those around us. This we can do.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we get self-absorbed and forget that You are with us, in us. Help us to live the joy, peace, hope, and love that we have through faith in You. May we be the fragrance of life to those around us, especially in these days when so many are filled with anxiety and despair. We thank You for all Your blessings. They are new every morning. You are a faithful God! Amen.
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Thank you, Nan.
May it be so, Nan. Be safe.
Thank you, Nan. What a great idea! I’m going to try it.
Thanks, Nan, for sharing this uplifting devotional reminder with us. Blessings.
We can do this, thanks for this reminder!
I enjoyed your devotional, “what’s That I Smell” in Presbycan. Thanks!
Grace and peace, Glad to see you are still writing daily devotionals. I enjoyed today’s devotional.
Thank you, Nan,
One of my favourite things to do just now is send along some of the creative humour I am getting, to make people smile.
Thank you. I needed that today. Besides being isolated, my husband had surgery just before lockdown. Then he fell and broke his leg.
Now my cat is sick. Too much piled on at once. I’m depressed and lonely and overwhelmed. Thanks for the reminder that I need to rejoice.
Thank you, Nan St. Louis, for your prayer.
Lord God, please give the scientists working hard to develop medicines, injections, or whatever will counteract the Covid virus, SUCCESS for Your Name’s sake. Amen.
Hi Nan, great devotion and what a reminder as we go into these stores and our response to others. I was shopping the other night and I shared about the Narnia books by CS Lewis. She brightened my day and wave us goodbye as she left. Small thing but felt the impact of an encounter amongst everyone else who was in the fear mode. Hope all is well with you two.
Keep telling people it may not feel like it, but God is in charge.
I wonder if the virus will kill us or make us stronger. We are using Zoom for our church activities and Sunday church service. This works because each of us are in our own homes. People I do not know are part of this and that has been one of great things.
Thanks, Nan, for your devotional this morning. It is encouraging that there are those of us believers who do and can witness our faith to those around us. I am unable to do my own shopping during this pandemic but am thankful that I have family in my community that are shopping for me. The way I have been showing my faith and belief in God is on Facebook and I am thankful to God that we have this technology at this time. Continue to do your thing and I shall do mine. God bless and stay safe.
Good morning Nan
We have been getting the bulk our groceries about once every 2 weeks early in the morning. We experienced the same thing last week, few people, no conversation, just get the groceries and get out.
What strange times we are living in for sure. Frustrating at times, but we do know that the Lord is with us.
Thank you for writing.
Many thanks for this devotional. Yes, we can truly be “the fragrance of Christ” by reaching out to others with just a smile or nod of recognition to those who are striving to bear the present situation. Your description of what it is like to go for groceries during today’s situation is so true. All is so quiet and reserved. We must stay strong in our faith and the Lord will get us through and meanwhile, being kind to one another is what the Lord requires of us.
Blessings to you.
Nothing speaks more of Jesus than a joyful heart, wanting to share the love of Christ
Oh YES, Nan! Before the virus, I still regarded everyone I met as someone potentially sent from God to meet with me today. Even if, possibly, my whole reason for being alive was to meet them, listen to them, and share God’s love with them. Now, with the shutdown and all the pain that those around us without God, are experiencing, it is even more important to be there. We CAN make a difference with God’s leading. This awful Nova Scotian shooting tells us just how broken the lives of some have become. Dear Father, today, let me listen and be there for them. As you do. Thank you for your example.
Very well put.