John 6:1-13 and from 2 Corinthians 9:6-5, Stephen opened with a great image; that of a baby being passed around. I remembered one such dinner not long after my son was born, our family celebrated my niece's graduation. My son was handed from aunt to aunt to grandmother. When he returned I could smell several fragrances pleasantly clinging to his Onesie. Similarly, Stephen explained, we ought to have the fragrance of Jesus. We would be close to Him, and we would be held by Him in order to share his scent.
One of the fragrances of God is generosity, Stephen went on to say. I can see how this is true. The word implies magnanimity and abundance. God is abundant in grace and love. The question I ask myself is; am I generous in any form? What does that look like? How do I share the fragrance of Jesus?
A similar word, charity is listed as a fruit of the Spirit in some translations of the Bible. In charity I think of willingness to give, and a heart for God. My father used to say of me that I wasn't just frugal, I was hermetically sealed. He meant it as a compliment and I still see it that way, but perish the thought of having a Spirit that is hermetically sealed. It would shortly wither and die.
Continuing the theme of generosity and abundance, Stephen spoke of John 6 and the feeding of the five-thousand. He noted how Jesus tested the disciples by asking where are we to buy bread that these people may eat. I was struck with the notion of a twinkle in Jesus' eye as He asked the question. Where indeed? The disciples turned to town for the answer, not pausing to consider Jesus. I wonder how often I turn to town in need. When I'm spiritually hungry or tired, I seek solace in a story or entertainment. It begs the question, how big is my God?
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