Today is a day to salute your snout. Among the five human senses – sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch, smell is by far the strongest linked to our sense memories. So, don’t hold your nose on this day. Take a few moments to notice how the smells you encounter immediately bring forth distinct memories of times gone by.
Many of today’s Cinco de Mayo gatherings will be surrounded by the savory aroma of Mexican cuisines, such as cilantro, oregano, onions, cheeses, Chile peppers, and fried beans. Don’t forget the limes and tequila! These smells celebrate a holiday commemorating the Battle of Pueblo held on May 5, 1862–not as many mistakenly believe to celebrate the Independence of Mexico. I suspect the culinary scents are preferable to the smell of gunpowder in drawing remembrance of a battle.
May 5th is also another day of significance for our nasal cavities. Last year on this day, Chanel No. 5 celebrated its centennial. On May 5, 1921, wealthy clothier Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel debuted the fragrance for sale at her boutique in Paris. At that time, perfumes generally fell into two categories: single-flower fragrances worn by “respectable” women and animal-based musks worn by “promiscuous” women. Chanel secured French-Russian chemist and perfumer Ernest Beaux to develop a new fragrance that would be a “scent of a woman.” Packaged in a distinct bottle, the new fragrance became the world’s highest-selling perfume of all time.
This Sunday, May 8, the church lectionary draws our attention to another sense: sound. On Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus tells us, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).” As we use our ears to listen to this message, we are encouraged to use our other sensory gifts to experience the Gospel. While the pungent, earthly smell of dirty sheep in fields may be less desirable than the savory flavors of Mexican cuisine or as enticing French perfumes, our most robust sense will help our minds receive God’s message in its entirety. Please join us for our 8:00 AM, 10:15 AM, and 6:00 PM worship services.