I sat in church today, paid the Lord a short visit, and smelled apple crisp. The combination was the best lectio divina I’ve had in a while.
When your church is connected to an elementary school, good smells from the kitchen waft everywhere, even down the church aisles. They bring back memories to me from my own Catholic school days. Apple crisp was Mrs. Kruzona’s specialty, full of butter and sugar and things we’re told we can’t have these days.
It might be too whimsical to say, but I wonder if the smells bring back any memories to Our Lord, sitting there in the tabernacle, just a hallway away from the gym/cafeteria. I wonder if he thinks of the smells from his own boyhood home, where Mary cooked up whatever goodies were popular. No brown sugar or apples, I suppose, but maybe dates and honey for the special feasts.
Advent is a time of preparation, of waiting to celebrate the Lord’s coming in history and into our hearts. It’s a time of food and family, of visits to good friends and even to people seldom seen. It’s an earthy time of straw and barnyard, sticky tape and wrapping paper, shared gifts and shared time.
Advent is a time of anticipation for the day when God reached down and mingled with us more personally than had ever been imagined. He loved us so much it brought him into existence as a human being.
I think, sitting there in the tabernacle, the wafting scent of apple crisp reminds him of our ordinary lives with their simple pleasures, and the very ordinary life he chose to live on earth–until it was ended and recreated in such an un-ordinary way. Advent is the time of the people of God, waiting for the son of God, gifting him with their daily tasks.
I think the sounds of children’s laughter is a choir of music he just might love most; and the smell of apple crisp is better than that of any incense.