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Annette's Notes, Issue #006 -- Sweet-Smelling Worship
July 12, 2014

I was singing a song with the congregation at church the other day. It was a song I learned years ago when I was part of a choir in another church in another state, and suddenly memories came pouring back in. I was reminded of God’s blessings in my life in that time and place, and the memory of those blessings deepened my grateful worship in the present moment.

I remember reading that smells can spark vivid memories, that one’s sense of smell and one’s emotional memories are intrinsically linked in some part of the brain so that when you smell cookies baking (more so than when you see them), you vividly remember being in Grandma’s kitchen, watching the cookies through the oven door, hearing her voice, and feeling her loving hand on your head.

I thought about how our worship smells to God. It’s a pleasant odor that triggers His memory too. After the Flood, Noah offered a grateful sacrifice to God:

“And the LORD smelled a sweet savour;
and the LORD said in his heart,
I will not again curse the ground any more
for man's sake; for the imagination
of man's heart is evil from his youth;
neither will I again smite any more
every thing living, as I have done.”

Genesis 8:21

The smell of Noah’s sacrifice was a powerful reminder to God of His intense love for His fallible children.

Worship triggers vivid memories of God’s faithfulness. I remember. God remembers. We have a deeper connection because of the sweet smell of worship.

Think About It

Ask yourself:
  • What are some smells that trigger memories for me?
  • How can I incorporate scents into my lessons to enhance memory for my students?
  • What are some worship songs that vividly remind me of God’s faithfulness and love?

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