And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said, “See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed! May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine. Genesis 27:27-28
For the last 21 years, I’ve had a standing obligation on Thanksgiving Eve.
It has been to be the lead worshiper or preacher at my congregation’s Thanksgiving Eve service.
Before I was ordained, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving was travel day or preparation day. My wife and I were either traveling to family to celebrate the holiday or hosting family for the holiday.
Since ordination there has been only one Thanksgiving that we haven’t hosted.
So, the vast majority of the time our house has been the place that holds the aromas of family at Thanksgiving.
That’s what Thanksgiving smells like to me – family. When I come home from worship on Wednesday evening, the house smells like pie – pumpkin pie, apple pie, pumpkin roll, cheese cake, blueberry pie, whatever we are making that particular year.
But these are all aromas of family because for us Thanksgiving is all about the family gathering together to worship Christ, give thanks to God for all his blessings, and the feast.
Families have their aromas. In Genesis 27 Isaac compares the smell of his son to that of a field blessed by God.
Growing up, I would associate aromas to family as well. My maternal grandparent’s home had its unique smell that was “Nana and Pop Pop” – a mixture of cigar, wood smoke, and assorted herbs and spices of my grandmother’s cooking.
My paternal grandparent’s home also had its unique aromas of spices, onions, and the other food items my Grandma would use in her cooking.
[What aromas do you associate with family? Post them in the comments section.]
I’ve read that aromas are powerful memory triggers and that has certainly been true for me. But I also believe that aromas can and will be powerful components of reality.
By that I mean that there are certain aromas that are virtually required for certain things. Turkey for thanksgiving. Pine for Christmas. Newly mown grass for the Fourth of July. Flowers for Easter. While this mostly likely will vary from person to person, the concept will be true for all people, I believe.
Which leads me to believe that heaven will be a place of aromas, in addition to vistas and emotions.
It will be a place of emotions such as joy.
It will be a place of the vistas that go with the “new heavens and new earth.”
And it will be a place of aromas. My grandmothers are there and heaven, to me, includes their meals. My wife will be there and her meals will be heaven to me as they are “heaven on earth” right now.
And those are the aromas of family to me.
These aromas of family are part of what makes Thanksgiving so special to me.
[What about you? What “aromas of family” make Thanksgiving special to you?]
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