And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (Eph. 5:2)

With tears in her eyes, Kelli directed our choir. We sang of Christ’s Good Friday sacrifice, sharing how love wins. “We’re given the most important choice: to accept or reject the gift Christ offered on the cross, the place he didn’t have to be,” she passionately explained to us in dress rehearsal. As we sang, the notes and crescendos grew, even as our voices wobbled with emotion. We pictured Jesus putting himself on that cross intended for us all. His was the sacrifice God found acceptable, a fragrant offering. Love has a distinct aroma.

Paul urged the Ephesians, as children secure in their Father’s love, to make a habit of imitating God. He reminded them that love often looks like sacrifice. And sacrifice, no matter how big or small, is costly. Its goal is to serve, to offer someone else the greater good. It’s usually inconvenient. But love does what others will not do. Love climbs onto a cross.

Making love a habit becomes a fragrance most inviting. Perhaps in your home, the way of love means putting down the device to look someone in the eye. Or rising out of that comfy chair to make dinner, even though your back and legs ache. Or giving something valuable away, no strings attached. Can you start to smell that scent? Mm-hmm. Smells good, doesn’t it?

Imitate God, as his dearly loved child, and offer yourself to others!

Jamie Hilty lives in Goshen, Indiana. Singing, story-sharing, and creating bring her joy. She’s grateful her pastor-husband shares his office and parents their kids so she can put words on paper.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.