I know lots of people are into essential oils nowadays. For me, I love candles. I always have. I am blessed because of where I live, that it only takes me an hour to travel up I-91 to Yankee Candle’s flagship store in South Deerfield, MA. It is a wonderful place! On top of that, it is only an extra thirteen minutes to get to Bernardston, MA, where Kringle Candle has a factory store. Both places are candle-lovers paradises.
I like to match the scent to the season. In the spring, perhaps it’s Meadow Showers – the scent of fresh raindrops on blades of green grass. In summer, I enjoy Lilac Blossoms – the smell of an alluring grove of lavender, white and deep purple lilacs. It reminds me of my childhood home on Brattle Street in Holden, MA, and my next door neighbor Mr. Naptin’s amazing lilacs, the scent of which drifted into my upstairs bedroom window on summer days. Or, it could be Beach Walk – the scent of refreshing salt water and sea musk warmed with sunny notes of tangerine and orange blossom. When fall begins, it is time for Autumn Embers – a mix of apple, spice, and a touch of smoky firewood. Maybe even some Whipped Pumpkin Spice – creamy milk blended with pumpkin and spices and sweetened with maple. Of course, as we close in on Christmas I always have a jar of Balsam and Cedar going – aromatic cedar wood and juniper berry blended together in a fresh forest scent. Today, I think of my mom’s love of birch trees and I am burning Silver Birch – the scent of Siberian Pine, Clove, Eucalyptus, Pine, and Patchouli.
As I enjoy my candles, it always reminds me of the incense burned in the Temple and how important it was to worshiping God. The altar of incense was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. In Exodus, God Himself even gave the recipe for making the incense and stipulated that no other incense ever be burned on the altar.
In Psalm 141, David writes, “Accept my prayer as incense offered to you, and my upraised hands as an evening offering” (Psalm 141:2). Incense, then, is seen as a symbol of prayer. As the smoke arises upward, so too does our offering of prayer ascend to God. In Leviticus, God mentions how sincere offerings are “…a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord” (Leviticus 1:9). The fact that the incense was always burning means that we should always pray. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17; KJV).
The next time you light a candle or use some essential oil, may it remind you of how much the Lord enjoys the sweet smelling aroma of our prayers. And remember, prayer is always in season.
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