Dear Hyde Park Family,
Are there certain fragrances that evoke strong memories for you?
I was surprised to learn recently that the same part of our brain that processes our sense of smell is the same as where we store our memories. Your olfactory bulb is connected to both the amygdala (which processes emotion) and the hippocampus (which is linked to memories).
It is why, when I smell a particular musty, stuffy kind of odor, I am immediately transported back to my aging dormitory hallway in seminary. It’s also why the scent of a certain cleaning agent brings me back to my kindergarten classroom in the 1970s. And it’s why the smell of chicken adobo puts me right back at my childhood dining room table. The list could go on and on for me.
What fragrances conjure those kinds of memories for you? I’d love to know.
THE AROMA OF CHRIST
It’s interesting that our other four senses seem to get more play in the scriptures. We read a lot about sight (blind people being healed, Jesus as the “light of the world”) and touch (the Word made “Flesh,” and the touch of his scars to prove his resurrection). The command to hear (“Shema”) is one of the most prevalent words in the Old Testament, as are the numerous stories about eating, drinking, and tasting.
But the power of smell is not showcased nearly as often. There was the odor of Lazarus as he emerged from the grave, and the fragrant perfume that was poured on Jesus’ feet at the anointing of Bethany. But there’s not much else.
In fact, Paul uses the Greek word for aroma (“euodia”) only three times in his letters, and one of them happens to be in 2 Corinthians 2:15-17, which is our scripture text for this Sunday:
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: to the one group a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.
So, here’s what I’m wondering: How might your life and this church be a sweet fragrance for others? What impact can we make in the name of Jesus, such that others will have enduring memories of God’s love for them?
THE IMPACT OF YOUR GIVING
One answer comes in part from our 2022 Impact Report, which shares the amazing ways that you have been a part of reaching others in our community and around the world. Read it and give thanks for how God has been at work through the people of Hyde Park United Methodist!
The other answer comes from your submission of an Estimate of Giving Card for next year. It will help our Finance Committee and other church leadership make important decisions about the ministries that we can offer in 2023.
Both the Impact Report and the Estimate of Giving Card are related in this important way: the number that you prayerfully write down on your Estimate of Giving Card will directly shape the numbers that we see in the Impact Report this time next year. Your generosity will be the sweet, fragrant offering that God is pleased to receive, through which others will be transformed.
We invite you to submit your estimate by Sunday, November 20, in our annual Commitment Sunday.
Together, let us offer ourselves to God, that others may experience the transformative, memorable aroma of Christ.
Grace and Peace,
SIGN UP FOR SERVE DAY
We look forward to participating once again in our annual SERVE Day on November 20, when we partner with Metropolitan Ministries, as hundreds of us volunteer under their Holiday Tent. There are still over 100 volunteer slots available during times convenient for you, and we ask that you register in advance by clicking here.