The Fragrance that We Carry

In Acts 3:1-7, we see Peter and John ministering together through the power of the Holy Spirit. As they entered the temple, they came upon a man lame from birth who found healing in Christ through Peter and John’s obedience to God’s call on their lives. As our speaker reminded us on Sunday, what Peter and John did, they did together. They were unified in spirit and in intention, following God’s lead with courage and faithfulness. And we know that where there is unity, God bestows His blessing (Psalm 133).

Our speaker this week had some insightful observations that, if we soften our hearts to, will bless our own lives and the lives of those who are depending on our unity for the witness and the power of God in their lives. For there are many issues today that if not approached with the maturity we are called to, can wreak havoc in our churches. Whether masks, vaccines, issues pertaining to social justice or political forces, different stances on these have divided our world down sharply drawn lines, with words and worse used as weapons designed to annihilate opponents.

Similarly, our speaker this week observed that by forgetting God’s Word, we have allowed how we approach the pressing needs of our times to divide our churches. Having checked humility and charity at the door, we now find ourselves reaping a harvest of division and disunity. Forget healing the man at the gate; would Peter and John have even made it out the door in our day?

There is no blessing without unity, not for ourselves, and not for the lives we are ordained to serve and bring the healing power of Christ and His kingdom to. We are called to be salt and light in a darkened generation, a people known by our love and not by our lambasting, a people who carry the fragrance of God with us as we seek to love Him with all our hearts, souls, strength, and minds and love our neighbors as our very selves. A people called to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly before Him. Is this our fragrance today? Is this the fragrance of the American Church? If not, there is only one person who can do anything about it, and it is the person we meet in our mirror every day.

The “big C” Church is in fact made up of millions of “little c” churches, like the one we belong to. And large, looming issues that can feel overwhelming are always composed of how they break down to individuals. We can do very little about the former, but everything about the latter.
The fragrance we carry, either of Christ or of the flesh, is made up of our little daily decisions: to deride or to defer; to assume or to ask; to lash out or to humbly listen; to stoke fear or to speak the truth in love (Proverbs 10:12, 11:2, 12:16, 12:18, 17:9, 18:17, 20:3). We, as unique and deeply loved parts of the body of Christ, carry within us every day the ability to walk according to the Spirit or to neglect His Word and His power. We do this by remembering that before He ever asked us to love each other, He first loved us (1 John 4:10, 18-20).

But we cannot be deceived, and God will not be mocked; we will reap in our lives, and in our churches, what we sow now. Do we desire to see the body of Christ nourished, loved, well fed, glorious and without blemish, holy and without fault? Do we desire to see her grow up in every
respect that we would become the mature body of Christ, full of good fruit (Eph 4:13-18; 5:25-30)? Then we must not put it off another day; it starts with the Peters and the Johns (and the Patricias and Jennifers) in our own mirrors.

Are we defensive over this? May we ask the Lord for softer hearts, and diligently seek Him through His Word to see how we are to be formed. Are we frightened over this? May we encourage ourselves in His Word, knowing perfect love casts out all fear, and as our speaker reminded us Sunday, we can keep an open hand (and heart) by trusting Him with everything we’ve got. Are we frustrated or discouraged by disunity with our brothers and sisters? May we seek courage in Christ to show up with humility, a willingness to listen, and a desire to speak the truth in love, remembering we all share seats around the common table of Christ’s body, broken for us.

Our world needs our unity. We need our unity. May we not shrink back from the courageous call to “have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8). We need each other, and that’s more than okay; it’s our design and our high calling in love.

by Chelsea Bucci
Chelsea and her husband Dj have enjoyed attending Kingsway since 2011. Chelsea is currently pursuing an education in Biblical Studies and Counseling. She is often heard before she’s seen, and her laugh may or may not have broken the sound barrier once. She finds great joy spending time with her husband and children, enjoying a good meal with friends, animatedly discussing theology, reading C.S Lewis, and watching Doctor Who. You can read more of her writing on her blog, Doctor Pew.




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