For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ to God, discernible both among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
– 2 Corinthians 2:15

Somewhere around my birthday, every year since we first came to North Carolina, Rebekah takes me to my favorite nursery and helps me pick out herbs for the garden she will plant for me in a series of inviting flower pots on the deck right off the kitchen.

No more dried out herbs—shelved, bottled, contained, washed out.

It’s a wonderful gift, placing live herbs right there a step or two away when I am cooking. Not just the beauty and the fragrance, but the freshness and the added sense of imagination it gives my ongoing explorations in cooking.

It’s like giving a new palette of paints to an artist, replacing dry, cracked color tablets with vibrant, rich acrylics. Fresh textures and hues. New inspirations. The latest tools and supplies to make the work “pop.”

So we wandered around the magical collection of garden possibilities that is Logan’s Supply Company until we finally landed at the herb section, fragrant and inviting.

I had a festive holiday filling my cart. Basil. Oregano. Sage. Parsley. Thyme (both German and Lemon). Mint. Rosemary. And, a new one for me, the invitingly aromatic herb known as Summer Savory.

There’s one more analogy that has settled into my spirit. The difference to my kitchen made by fresh, fragrant, living herbs reminds me of walking into our church on Sunday morning and reveling in the life there because neither the preacher nor the people are dried, shelved, bottled, contained or washed out.

If your experience of ‘church’ is dried up and washed out, then you need to ask Jesus to reanimate The Body with authentic, fragrant, vibrant life.

Fresh. Aromatic. Inviting. Alive. “For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ to God, discernible both among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

Peace and blessings – Derek

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Derek Maul
Derek Maul has written for many news outlets, including the Tampa Tribune, The United Methodist News Service, All Pro Dad, FOCUS Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Presbyterians Today, Guideposts, Chicken Soup for the Soul and many other publications. Read Derek Maul’s daily blog posts at