We hiked across the hills of the Christmas tree farm. Evergreen boughs stretched regally toward the sky. Balsam fragrance teased our nostrils with the scent of Christmas as chainsaws roared around us.
Delighted families oohhhed and ahhhed when their perfect Christmas tree toppled into waiting arms. Again and again, I was struck by balsam fragrance wafting across the mountainside.
The Sweet Aroma of Christ Echoes the Fragrance of Worship
I recently heard a phrase describing the sweet aroma of Christ as the fragrance of worship. Oddly enough, that thought persisted throughout the afternoon as we searched from one evergreen to another for our chosen tree, engulfed by this amazing perfume.
The balsam perfume of freshly cut Christmas trees.
Juxtaposed, in my mind, to the fragrance of worship.
I knew there was a message there, a pondering or insight the Lord wanted me to understand.
And then my eyes were opened to see.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross, carved from the trunk of a tree. A tree holy and sacred cut at its roots, dying to hold Jesus nailed to its wood — His pierced body surrendering all for our sake.
Do you remember when Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, anointed Jesus’s feet with costly perfume poured from her alabaster box? She worshiped Him in thanksgiving and praise, for her brother Lazarus had once been drenched in the stench of death, but now was alive.
The room filled with the costly perfume of worship, a prophetic anointing for Jesus’s burial.
The stench of death
The fragrance of Worship.
Such a paradox — a glorious paradox of the Lord’s resurrection power.
The Costly Fragrance of His Grace
He takes what is dead, and makes it alive. He takes what is lost and carries it home to the Father.
He takes the ugly, messy, stench-filled areas of our lives, and pours the oil of His Holy Spirit over and through us, replacing the stench with the costly fragrance of His grace.
I thought about the Christmas trees being cut down on that mountainside — the joy they bring as we celebrate our Savior’s birth. In their dying, the perfume of balsam is released, permeating the air.
I’m learning that in my own dying to self, the sweet aroma of Christ is released to a hurting world, the beautiful fragrance of worship.
The trees die to give Christmas joy.
Jesus died to give me life.
As His disciple, I die to self making Him Lord and release the sweet aroma of Christ.
We selected our tree on that cold December day, high in a field on a mountaintop. The fragrance of balsam filled the air.
Loading the tree in the back of the pickup, the fragrance of worship filled my heart as I considered anew the great sacrifice of my Lord.
Thank you so much for stopping by. I would love for you to share what’s on your heart in the comments below. Scroll a little farther down and you’ll see where you can leave your comments. Together, we can find the nearness of God in our darkest moments.
Sweet blessings to you,