TITLE: We Stinketh
DATE: March 3, 2019
TEXT: 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16 – ESV - 14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.
According to the Canadian Broadcasting Company, Newfoundland has a town, St. Mary’s, which is home to approximately 400 people.
Also situated in the little community are the remains of a company, the Atlantic Seafood Sauce Company. The business opened in 1990 and specialized in the making of a standard Vietnamese food item: fermented seafood sauce. Apparently the Company took its job seriously as they built 150 tanks, each of which could hold 3300 gallons of fermented fish sauce.
Times were good until some government inspectors thought they had discovered some unsanitary conditions. That was 2001, and they immediately shut the plant down. The Company fought those findings and years later the charges were overturned and the business was declared innocent.
Unfortunately, the plant never reopened
The company just left hundreds of thousands of gallons of fermenting fish sauce just where they were. Since 2001 those tanks have been sitting there, slowly decomposing, slowly rusting, slowly oozing fish sauce all over the floor, To paraphrase the friends of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, “It stinketh.” The plant stinketh and the whole town stinketh.
And if you are wondering just how bad it stinketh, all I can do is refer you to the town’s Mayor, Steve Ryan. Just once the mayor was able to work up the courage and the stomach to go into the plant. Today his advice is: if you come to town, “Come with a vehicle you don’t want to drive no more.” And that’s advice coming from a man who is supposed to be one of the town’s best representatives.
You should know I tried to find someone who disagreed with the Mayor… and was unable to find anyone. The town stinketh. And what does all this have to do with Christianity?
If you look at the Bible passage above you will be forced to conclude: a great deal.
In 2 Corinthians 2, the Apostle Paul concluded that Christians give off a fragrance. How could we not? When the Holy Spirit reached into our hearts, removed the devil and filled that spot with the Savior Who had sacrificed Himself and given His life so we might be forgiven, we were totally transformed.
Because of Christ’s sacrifice joy replaced sorrow; and hope took the place of despair. Rather than condemnation we had the joy of salvation, and the Savior became our good Shepherd, taking the place of the thief who had come to kill and destroy. This exchange made by Christ and the life that we lead is a joy to others who have been saved….
… But to those who don’t acknowledge Jesus as Lord, all they can say is: “We stinketh.”
So, I guess it all depends on just who you wish to please.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let our lives bear witness to the Savior Who has changed us from the inside out. May all we say and do be a sweet smelling incense to our Lord and a blessing to those around us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Today’s devotion was inspired by various articles, amongst which is the one written for Newser by Kate Seamons on February 12, 2019 . Those who wish may check out this link which was, at the time of writing, fully active: http://www.newser.com/story/271205/canadian-town-trapped-in-a-fish-sauce-nightmare.html
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html