Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Smells of Christmas

This morning I came in early to get a microphone ready for the United Methodist Women's meeting.  I went into the closet in Anderson hall and looked for what I needed.  It wasn't there so I had to go to the sacristy to get the microphone and stand.  I decided that I would walk to the sanctuary to get there.  The moment I opened the doors to the sanctuary it hit me.  The smell of pine of a Christmas tree radiated throughout the space.  I stopped in my tracks because I knew that our tree in the Sanctuary is fake.  I took another deep breathe to make sure that I was really smelling pine.  Sure enough the pine permeated my lungs.  It was definitely a wonderful, opening presents on a Christmas morning, real Christmas tree pine smell.  I started to look around to see where the smell might be coming from and then it hit me.  The wreathes that are hanging on the walls are pine.  They are real and I forgot about them.

I walked closer to them and the smell got stronger and stronger.  As I got to the steps leading up toward the alter I stopped and looked up at both the wreaths and the tree.  It was such a warm, wonderful feeling on such a cold, rainy winter's day.  As I stood there I glanced down to my left and the manger scene got my eye.  I stopped and sat down on the steps and studied the manger scene. I started to think about the smells that most of been coming from that stable long before Mary and Joseph even arrived.  Just think of all the animals were dirty and obviously do what animals do.  No one had time to clean the stable before Mary and Joseph got there.  They arrived ready to give birth and had to do it in a stable.  It's funny how the beautiful manger scenes can't give us the full experience of what it must of been like in a manger.

As I sat there and thought about it, something hit me.  Maybe someone the Innkeeper or Innkeeper's wife went out and cut some fresh pine branches and brought them in and put them on the hay so that they brought a fresh smell to the stable.  Maybe the manger was made out of cedar and even though it had been there for a while it still smelled fresh and clean. 

I don't even know if cedar and pine trees were available in that area but it sure makes thinking about giving birth in a stable a little more tolerable.  I hope your Advent season is filled with the smells that make Christmas enjoyable.  Hopefully you don't live in a stable :) 

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