It Was A Holy Night

O Holy Night

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The Smells of Heaven

I am sure before Christ’s resurrection the aroma of the sacrifices for sin filled the space. The Bible tells us that the best cut of meat was sacrificed on the altar as an atonement for sin. I think the fragrance of the prayers of the saints overpowered it. I am sure it was amazing to breathe.

Today, I walked through an area where smokers hung out. Not only was the smell of tobacco in the air, but it was stale.  I tried to hold my breath until I got past it.

The smell I abhor is walking into a restroom and it smell like urine. As I was hurrying trying to get out of there I thought. “Lord, is this what it was like coming to earth? You left the amazing smells of Heaven for the filthiness of earth.”

I can’t think of anyone I like enough to stay in a situation that smells bad.  Yet, I can only imagine what Jesus gave up for His love of us.  He went to the depths of Hell for us.

Bulls and lambs are no longer sacrificed. Prayers are still the fragrance of the saints. Jesus offers eternal life to all those who believe.  Jesus has only one stipulation to those who want eternity with Him. John 3:16.

Each Moment is Precious

If I had known it was the last time I was going to hug her, I would have hugged her a little longer.  I would have said a few other things. I remember wrapping my arm around her and greeting her. I remember she said some words to me, but seemed preoccupied. We were on our way to somewhere, so I didn’t investigate.

That is the great adventure of this life, not knowing if you will ever see someone again. Every encounter we have with each other should be treated as a moment we might not get to repeat. The headlines of the news are filled with instances of people who never got to say goodbye.

We feel entitled to the privilege of saying goodbye to the people we love. God did not promise us that. (John 16:33)

He promised we could live forever with Him in eternity if we accepted Jesus as our savior. When he planted the tree in the garden, He knew what kind of world this would become. As we are stunned each day by the atrocities, He whispers I have a plan in place for this. (John 1: 1-5)

He loved us so much that He sent the most precious thing He had, his Son. (John 3:16) He said if you believe in Him and accept Him as savior, you can join Him in heaven where you will not experience this type of misery ever again.  As sad as I am to lose a love one, I hang on to the promise that it won’t be the last time I see them. I know we will meet again in heaven and finish the conversation we didn’t have here.

Every year at the end of BSF we sing a song. We hold hands, hug and sing this song.  Many of us know it by heart because we have sang it so many times. It reminds us that we are parting, but this is not the end. I sing this song every year, but I never think that I won’t see my sisters in Christ again.

We memorize the verses. We sing the hymns. We do the church thing and all the other feel good stuff. Some days life calls us to live those words out. That is when it gets hard, but He promised He would guide us through it. He didn’t say it would be easy, or we would like it or we would even understand it. He asked us to trust Him. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Hold on to that. If you are in Christ Jesus, this is not the end. And you are not alone. He is with you. He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)