Olfaction in Worship

How’s that for a blog post title? 🙂

“Olfaction”: The action or capacity of smelling; the sense of smell.

I promised on Monday I would share about some of the props I am using in daily life to connect with God. A key word I feel was emphasized at the retreat I recently went to was ENGAGE. Do what you need to do to engage in your personal, private time with the Lord. “Quiet time” does not not need to be QUIET!

I am generally reluctant to getting up early in the morning. Sleep and I have been great friends since childhood. But the Lord has been calling me to be with Him in “the secret place” (for some time now) in the morning before I do anything else. I tried doing “traditional” quiet time “activities” in the morning- IT DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. I cannot get up early, sit quietly on the floor, and read silently or talk to God in my head. I gotta MOVE and engage my senses!

One thing that is important to me is how things smell. I love yummy smelling homes, candles, fabric softener, and food… mmmmhmmmm. Our sense of smell as humans is also tied to memory and emotion more than any of our other senses. I have been using anointing oil first thing in the morning to wake up my senses and be intentional about consecrating my time in the secret place with the Lord. My favorite lately has been spikenard (from the lavender plant).

Spikenard is the fragrance that Mary of Bethany poured out on Jesus during a meal at Lazarus’ home. Jesus said that her act of pouring oil over him was an expression of worship and preparation for his death and burial. It is not surprising that Spikenard is the oil that represents intimacy and extravagant worship. When I anoint myself with spikenard in the morning I think about how I smell like the fragrance of Mary’s choice of extravagant worship- the smell that Jesus was still probably getting hints of during his death on the cross- a pint of pure spikenard would have a VERY strong and lasting smell.

Using fragrance as a prop in worship has been so helpful for me! If you have never heard much about biblical anointing or used it much in personal worship, I encourage you to check out a simple and informative article HERE.


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