Monday, December 03, 2007

are our noses a mistake OR a theology of revelation

The following brief interchange yesterday got me thinking.

nose.jpg Question: Is it OK to use some aromatherapy at a worship station?

Response (from me): Yes. Unless God made a mistake and didn’t mean to give us noses.

I was partly in jest, but it has kept me thinking. I believe that God gave us senses – the gifts of hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching. So surely if God gave these, then God is able to use these. So surely God desires to speak through our senses – our hearing, our seeing, our smelling, our tasting, our touching.

Why are some branches of Christianity allergic to God speaking through the bodies that God gave us? Why is it so rare to have, say smell, in some forms of church worship? Are these types of church actually scared of our God-given bodies?

Posted by steve at 07:05 PM


  1. scared of bodies ? yes i think they are – one of the things that i think we are extremely poor at in the church is thinking about people and what they need to be fully human, to live the best life ever – we don’t seem to have a theology of people, or at least if we do we seem to think that humanity was created not to be allowed to be really human ! peace, julie

    Comment by julie — December 3, 2007 @ 10:20 pm

  2. Steve,
    So I can fully understand the discussion, can you tell me briefly what the purpose of a worship station is? I have not heard that term before.

    Comment by jill — December 4, 2007 @ 1:15 am

  3. Hey Steve-O,

    Yeah I must admit that when I saw the little aroma-units doing their thing the other day it made me pause for thought.

    Of course, I have zero problem with it – I think its great.

    It made me think of a person who lead us in what she called ’emergent/alternative worship’ who told us to go away to a peaceful place in nature (relative peace, it was a busy park in Auckland) and (i) Listen and reflect on God in the sounds, and (ii) suck on a slice of lemon or orange and reflect on God through taste.

    It made more sense when she explained it to us at the time 😉

    The point it, God gave us our bodies. So go suck on a lemon.

    ~ Iain

    Comment by Iain — December 5, 2007 @ 1:39 pm

  4. I was about 20 and during ‘singing’ worship at the end of a Sunday night service felt like washing my hair in a bowl of water with perfume in it. And that is what i did. I emptied a small bottle of perfume from my handbag into a bowl of water(from the church kitchen) and washed my hair in it. It is one of my most intimate times of worship, that experience and this discussion reminds me that our bodies are very useful tools in our expression of worship.

    Comment by Kyla — December 5, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

  5. if we’re discussing the correctness of using God’s creation (the smells) and God’s creation (our noses) then to me it also begs the question of God’s creation of psychoactive plants and how our bodies are effected by them. Should they be illegal?

    Comment by Andrew Brown — December 6, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

  6. It’s interesting how some Anglicans react to the use of incense in worship.

    When asked: “what is incense for in worship?” the correct answer of course is: “for the nose”

    Advent blessings


    Comment by Bosco Peters — December 6, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

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