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011 Kernels of Wheat – The Original Aromas of Christmas

Jim Kerwin’s Show Notes for Kernels of Wheat Podcast
Episode 011 – The Original Aromas of Christmas

The Original Aromas of Christmas

There's a reason why nobody talks about the 'aromas' of the first Christmas!

The Aromas of Modern Christmas — Modern Luxuries

In North American culture, we associate various aromas and fragrances with Christmas — pine boughs, “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” pumpkin pie, roasted turkey, baked ham, yams, apple pie, hot chocolate, and egg nog.

The Original “Aromas” of Christmas–Dung and Urine

Luke 2:1-20–The story of the shepherds, the angels, and the stable

  • Confusing a stable with a manger. (French: mange = eat; thus, a manger = a feeding trough)
  • Children sing about the camels and donkeys and cows and sheep and who-knows-what in the stable
  • We display clean, tidy little “manger scenes” – but not true to the original.
  • Not true to how our hearts are when Jesus comes in—full of filth and vile things.
  • Farmers grow accustomed to the stench through long association with it. We grow accustomed to the stench of sin and selfishness in our hearts. We need to have our spiritual “noses” re-sensitized in order to smell what’s really there.  (Analogy: smokers)

More Pleasant Aromas from the Continuing Story

Matthew 2:1-12 — The Visit of the Magi

Here are good reasons to keep the “wise men” out of your nativity scenes:

  • Came two years after the birth
  • Note the change from stable to house.
    • What kind of a father figure would Joseph have been if his family was still living in a filthy stable two years later?
    • Continual mucking required if we continue living in the stable
      • The stench never goes away.
      • The stable is never clean
    • This is indicative of the fulfillment of God’s New Covenant promise in Ezekiel 36:25-27a new heart!
    • The “first and great commandment” becomes a promise: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.
      • You can’t love God with all your heart if there’s something in it that’s bound and determined not to obey him. That “something” is called variously:
        • The “old man”
        • The carnal mind
        • The sin nature
        • The want-to of sin
        • In the context of this message we can sum up this sin nature as the manure- and urine-producing animals of the stable.
    • God giving us a new heart is the equivalent of moving from a filthy stable to a clean, dry house.
    • No “Glade™ Christianity” – psht! psht! — trying to cover up the stench of sin with air freshener
  • The worship of the magi – word for worship = prostration
    • Couldn’t be done on the floor of the filthy stable
    • What kind of housekeeper do you think Mary was?
    • Speaks of true worship that comes from the new heart God gives
  • The three gifts of the magi (not necessarily three magi):
    • Gold
    • Frankincense (prayer) — its uses:
      • Compounded with several other spices to form the incense used in the tabernacle (Exodus 30:34)
      • Offered with the grain offering (“meat offering” kjv): Leviticus 2:1-2; 6:15
      • Offered with the firstfruits offering (Leviticus 2:15-16)
      • Poured over the “bread of the Presence” (“Face”) in the Holy Place (Leviticus 24:7)
      • A perfume (Song of Solomon 3:6; 5:6)
    • Myrrh and its uses:
      • The major ingredient in the anointing oil of the tabernacle (Exodus 30:23)
      • Perfume (Esther 2:12; Psalm 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; Song of Solomon 1:13; 3:6; 4:6,14; 5:1,5,13)
      • A narcotic given to condemned prisoners (Mark 15:23)
      • An embalming perfume (John 19:39)
  • In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Paul is probably speaking about myrrh when he says:
    • God manifests through us the sweet aroma of Christ in every place
    • We are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing
    • To those who are being saved, we are an aroma of death to death
      • Death to self!
    • Anything less than that and we begin to perceive someone relying on “Glade” to cover up other odors that are less than savory.
    • To those who are perishing, we are meant to be an aroma of life to life.
    • “The house was filled with the odor of the ointment”—said of Mary in John 12:3
    • No Glade™ needed here!
    • Calvary becomes “a mountain of myrrh and a hill of frankincense” (Song of Solomon 4:6)

(See also Percy Gutteridge’s message This Shall Be a Sign unto You.)


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