Friday, May 17, 2013

Sense-gesis: What does Jesus smell like?

Sense Making Faith continues. We have 3 “guides” who share the teaching and 7 participants. Enough for a very rich group experience. Like all good classes, I’m learning as much as the participants.

Last week a rich learning moment occurred as we listened to the noises around the cross. This week a rich learning moment occurred, first as we walked outside. It had just rained and as we walked we became even more keenly aware of night air, wet air, petrol fumes and takeways. We wondered together if a community could have bad smells and what it meant for the church to be a good smell.

Then we returned inside to “smell” the Bible. What are the smells of Christmas, the smells at the calling of the first disciples, the smells of the Easter garden?

The conversation turned to Jesus. What does Jesus smell like? Is the classical Christian affirmation, of Christ as fully human and fully divine, embodied in smell?

In Psalm 45:8 the robes of the Lord are fragrant with Myrrh and aloes and cassia. Is this poetic language? Or does holiness have a smell? Would the resurrected Jesus smell different than the unresurrected Jesus?

All of these, theologically, are pushing at embodiment, what it means for Incarnation to take real presence among us. Some wondered if Jesus smells different ways to different people at different seasons in their lives. Are there times when the full humanity of Jesus is a more pastorally connective than the full divinity? If so, what are the implications for our mission and ministry?

You can see why I love Sense Making Faith!

Posted by steve at 10:29 AM

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