“When the Old Testament people offered sacrifices, didn’t they burn those animal ones? I bet it smelled bad. I want to give God a gift, and I want it to smell good,” the three-year-old told his mother as they sat at the Sunday dinner meal. ( His minister had just given a sermon on the scripture: Ephesians 5:1 ”Be imitators of God…just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” NIV. )
His mom and dad laughed, but were delighted with his unusual, but very deep comment on the sermon. He had actually been listening—in between drawing his dog and cat and himself playing outside in the sun—or that was his interpretation of the modern art form he had designed.
“I think that is what Christ did—he was the substitute for the Old Testament offerings to please God. We don’t have to do that now because of Christ.” commented little Cory’s mother.
“Oh, then, that is good—I am sure those Old testament offerings smelled bad. I still know that God wants me to offer him a sacrifice—and it needs to be as wonderful to smell as your best vanilla candle that I like you to burn in the house after you cook onions.”
“Of course, he wants a fragrant offering, Cory, --but it needs to be yourself.”
Suddenly the tiny face lit up with freckles sparkling like dancing, impish stars (which it did often). “Just wait mom, you can see my fragrant offering and you will have to agree that it will be just what God wants me to give him—I am sure.”
Later that day, when his mom and Dad were taking their afternoon nap, little Cory—tousled headed and sleepy from his very short nap--crawled from his bed in his own room decorated with Noah Ark animals and scenes, and entered the kitchen. With his tiny hands, he hunted for the picture of the gingerbread cake on one of his mother’s boxes. Cory was a very uniquely smart child for his age but he could only read a little bit. Let’s see now. I like this color on this bottle (which read cayenne pepper), and this clear liquid (which read almond), and this bottle (which read ‘Worcestershire’) plus water and proceeded to add it all to his boxed mixture. “
Finally he took his unusual mixture in the bowl and climbed in the chair in front of the oven. He found himself tottering with bowl and heavy mixture in one hand and the other hand on the top of the chair.
All of a sudden, a terrible crash echoed through the once-quiet kitchen. The bowl and its colorful, smelly contents spilled all over the kitchen and all over Cory as he, too slipped to join the mixture he had so carefully tried to make a “fragrant” surprise. He tried to stand up, but immediately fell face-forward and came up with a disheartened and horribly disappointed cry from the very depths of his being. The chair had toppled on him. The entire cabinet sides looked as if someone had done a half-finished job of repainting them with sticky goo.
“Cory?...” demanded his dad—in between trying to laugh and put on the parent-discipline face when he saw his little son covered in the sticky concoction.
He was interrupted with a: “But, Daddy, I was just making a fragrant offering for God and give to you and moma,” protested Cory’s small voice.
His mom melted at the sight of the gooey covered child, and couldn’t help but pick him up—bruises, gingerbread, and flavors galore. She gathered him into a quick hug with “Cory, --but, Cory, you are the real ‘fragrant’ offering to God just by trying to show us love in your own way.”
Cory reached up, and covered his mom and then dad’s cheek with a very fragrant, spicy, and sticky kiss.
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