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Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Smell

Exodus 30:1a & 7-8
“You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; … And Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.”

What do you do first thing in the morning after getting out of bed? Do you take an ice-cold shower to give your groggy eyes and tired mind a much-needed jolt? Do you walk immediately to the kitchen to grind coffee beans? Do you reach for your phone on the counter to check new messages, read fresh emails, and search your favorite news sources for top headlines? Do you throw on your sandals, grab a leash, and take your anxious dog out for a morning stroll? Or are you like me—do you hurry to your toddler’s bedroom to dress and feed her before she throws a fit?

I’m convicted as I read the Lord’s command to Aaron here, because in my typical routine for the typical morning, while I’m generally doing good things like dressing Skye and helping Megan with breakfast and playing games with Micah whose already up and rearing to go, I don’t exactly make a disciplined effort to offer a fragrant offering to the Lord. Not first thing anyway. And while I understand that loving, obedient actions are themselves fragrant offerings to God, I don’t always view them as that while doing them. I’ll say a quick prayer in bed before getting up, but I don’t get on my knees by my bedside and pray an aromatic prayer of consecration over all the affairs I’m about to attend to—“Lord, may I hold my daughter with Christ-like affection and help prepare breakfast out of love for my family and eat and drink to Your glory on this brand new day!”

How convicting to think of all the things I do every single day, of all the ways I find to pass the time, just how little I devote to this routine of priestly service. Today, may our prayers of consecration be candles of incense, and may gratitude and joy fill our spirits and aromatize our homes, so that our lives from morning to evening are bathed in the fragrance of heavenly communion.