Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 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.
There are not a lot of mimes around. They used to have one outside the French restaurant in Epcot. They were great. They’d interact with the people that passed by. Everyone got a chuckle out of their antics.
I had the privilege to see Marcel Marceau perform on stage. He was great. Without a word, you knew exactly what he wasn’t saying, what he was trying to express. He used his face, his hands, his entire body to tell a story. Now, there were no props, nothing projected onto a screen, nothing in his hands, and yet you got the message.
That’s what a mime does, they imitate life. They do everything in their power to act like someone else. They take all that they have and use it to look like someone else. They tell a story with what they have.
And that’s exactly what we’re commanded to do. Yes, commanded. Not suggested, not something to do if and when we get around to it. It’s not an optional course that we can sign up for if we think we might like it. This is a requirement for being a child of God. We are instructed and ordered to imitate God’s example. God puts this at the top of his to-do list for our lives.
And how do we do this? How does God say that we can best imitate him? By walking in love. By living each and every day with the purpose of showing everyone that you are giving them nothing but the best. Living in love delivers the best.
The Best Words – saying those words that they need to hear, in a way that they can understand and accept.
The Best Attitudes – when you speak, it’s always communicating concern, care, and compassion.
The Best Gestures – your body language makes them feel comfortable, willing to receive you, your words, your service.
The Best Actions – everything you do to serve them is done with behavior that lets them know that you want nothing but the best for them.
God’s kind of love isn’t like your cell phone: on for a while and then you turn it off. Or it runs out of power. Or it’s out of range. Or you can’t take it with you when it’s connected for recharging. God’s kind of love is very different.
It’s “on” all the time.
It’s “connected” all the time.
It’s “charged” all the time.
It’s “in-range” all the time
Love is a big idea and can be overwhelming. But God simplifies it a lot for us. He gives us the single most powerful example of love that we are to follow. And that example is Jesus. His love was behind what he chose to say and do. His love was the power and motivation for his life.
And what did he do? He gave himself up for us. Not for some other people on the other side of the world. Not for someone else. Not for people that had their spiritual stuff together. No, he gave himself up for us. For people just like you and me.
The result of his love, his giving himself up for us, was a sweet-smelling sacrifice. The sacrifice of Jesus, although it cost everything he had, produced a smell that put a smile on the face of God.
Every time I smell turkey, I’m immediately transported back to my mom’s kitchen. I see her, wooden spoon in hand, apron protecting her from spills. She was always smiling as that big, beautiful, browned turkey was pulled from the oven.
My job was to take the stuffing out and put it into a bowl. But somehow, and it’s still a mystery to this day, that some of the stuffing always seemed to fall into my month before making it to the table. And that made me smile.
Smells are a powerful thing. They bring back memories, make us think of something that happened in the past. Smells are like a personal time machine, taking us to another place, another time. It’s just like we’re there again.
And the aroma of Jesus’ death on the cross reminds God that our sin problem has been dealt with once-and-for-all. It’s a vivid reminder that all our sins: past, present, and future are all paid for. They are covered by his sacrifice.
His death in our place, and God’s reaction to his sweet-smelling sacrifice, are to be the constant reminder for our life. They are to be the thing that motivates and empowers us to live for him today.
So, how’s your imitating Jesus going? Are you mimicking him? Is he the one that you are miming in your life?
How has a Jesus “mime” impacted your life in a significant way?
Where is the most difficult place to mime Jesus? Why?
How would you like to mime Jesus in everyday life?