Howdy Brothers and Sisters,
October, the 10th month of the year, is a month of transition. October is usually the time of year when the weather changes. The air becomes cool and crisp, the leaves on the trees begin to change colors and turn loose to cover the ground. It seems the deeper we get into October the more we start as a community thinking about the holidays (oh yes I have already seen some Christmas decorations out in certain places). It’s a time when the big ranches do their fall gathering and see how well the spring calf crop grew out and farmers harvest their crops hopefully to a good yield. Of course football season is at its height (GUNS FIRING, BOOMER SOONER, woo pig sooiiee). Isn’t it good to see God’s creation at work with the transition of the season’s spring, summer, fall, and winter?
This thought leads me to ask this question…When comparing our lives to the seasons, where would do we find ourselves? For me, as bad as I hate to admit it, I am in early fall. I find my-self in a time of transition with parents who are in the winter of their lives and having to make decisions that impact their lives and Michelle’s and my life as well. I know a lot of you have been where I find myself now and know how difficult this season of life can be. Although, this season can also be seen in this light… what an awesome privilege it is to be able to, in some small way, say thank you, through actions, to the ones who gave you life, who took care of you in good times and in bad, provided for you, who taught you right from wrong and who loved you when you were right but even more when you were wrong and pray for you. Sorry if this sounds like an old man rambling on but then again maybe I am starting to show my age.
Eccl 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven”
From my heart to yours, Pastor Wendell Abbott
The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about the five senses and how that relates to faith. I have been thinking about all of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes touches. There are many times that we spend time to focus on the sights and sounds of faith. In our tradition that is what more of the worship services are focused on. When we look to scripture we see that God uses all of the senses to engage his people. The Psalmist says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” The temple had its own particular incense that was exclusive to temple worship. Jesus’s ministry was one of touch. The majority of the time when he healed someone he did not just say that they were healed but he touched them, he invested time and attention in their lives. Many times when we talk about what god is doing we tend to focus on only certain areas of our lives, like sight and sound in a worship service. When we do this we miss out on so much that God has for us.
As I was reading a book for my class this week I read the following questions, “Does the church have an odor issue?” If we as Christ’s church are supposed to represent him fully, what do we smell like? Do we smell like Jesus? Smells are something that marketers understand the power of. Movie theaters pump the smell of buttered popcorn into the theaters to make movie goers crave it. Disney parks have different smells that are pumped into the air in their parks, smells that go along with the different themes of the different parts of the parks, smells that affect people’s moods, that relax them, and then ultimately help them spend more money. Smell is one of the easiest ways to remember things. People spend billions every year on scents and smells. But not all good smells are a good thing either. I was talking with someone about a church that every year goes overboard with Christmas smells so much that when you walk in during the Christmas season you almost choke on the smell of cinnamon. When I taught middles school boys I had to make a rule that they were not allowed to enter my classroom if they had dosed themselves with axe body spray because I had them right after gym and they thought axe was effective deodorant. There are times that we try to mask things with artificial smells and it doesn’t work, and as in the case of the cinnamon church and middle schools boys with Axe spray it makes things worse. People can tell if something is an authentic smell or artificial. Do we, the church, smell like Jesus or do we smell artificial?
Grace and Peace,
Jared Fields, Youth & Associate Pastor