The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


They brought spices

The aroma of the spices they carried wafted about their faces in the chill breeze of the red-dusted Jerusalem morning. It was the first day after the Sabbath, the second after the cold terror of Jesus' crucifixion.

They walk together toward the stone cave where Jesus was laid and to the funeral task ahead. But each of the women is alone with her thoughts.

"It's incredible," mused Joanna, "how aromas can make you remember." When she smelled an olive press, she thought of her wedding and the many lamps they had kept lit with the thick yellow oil to allow for dancing and feasting deep into the night. And the odor of fresh fish reminded her of childhood suppers on the shore of Lake Galilee. And the scent of myrrh made her think of death.

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February issue


Embracing diversity