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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Incense

I love incense. I love it's sweet, musky smell filling the room...but more importantly I love the symbolism of the smoke swirling and rising. On bibletools.org it describes incense as:
Figuratively, incense was symbolical of ascending prayer. The multitude were praying while Zacharias offered incense (Luke 1:10, thumiama), and in Revelation 5:8; Revelation 8:3 f., the incense in the heavenly temple is connected and even identified (Revelation 5:8) with "the prayers of the saints."
Watching the smoke rise from my incense is even more powerful when I think of how my prayers ascend to heaven to my heavenly Father. I'm a very visual person...so it helps me to "see" my prayers go up before Him in my mind.

I do understand that incense has been heavily used in eastern and new age religions...but I don't see why they get to claim exclusive rights to it! It's biblical!
A psalm of David ::: Psalm 141.

1 I call to you, LORD, come quickly to me;
hear me when I call to you.

2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

The Seventh Seal and the Golden Censer ::: Revelation 8

1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God's people, on the golden altar before the throne. 4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of God's people, went up before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and hurled it on the earth; and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake.

My favorite scents...nag champa and a great oolong tea incense I got at Gong Fu. My incense holder is from Lotus in the Old Market of Omaha, NE. I love watching the smoke escape from the different cut-outs.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our church uses incense, a blend of frankincense and other spices. It's wonderful.

11/19/2006 12:28 AM  
Blogger Freelance Mama said...

I've never understood why some churches constantly preach against "new age" and/or Eastern philosophies. As a teacher, I would lead my classes in some visualization exercises. Every year, I'd get a few complaints that I was trying to indoctrinate the kids into some kind of "new age" religion. I could see how it would be a problem if it separates you from God.

11/19/2006 6:50 AM  
Anonymous kim in in. said...

nag champa here,and sandlewood sometimes.

11/19/2006 7:16 AM  
Blogger Theodora Elizabeth said...

I'm an Orthodox Christian (aka Eastern Orthodox) and we use incense at EVERY service. The church gets quite smoky with this wonder fragrance. Sometimes we even use a lovely rose-scented incense.

11/19/2006 11:25 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Lovely incense box! Everything you do seems to have a touch of beauty. :)

11/20/2006 6:04 AM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...

Nag Champa is a definite favourite. I love incense, too :)

11/20/2006 1:44 PM  
Blogger Deeapaulitan said...

Just read Ps 141 this morning and thought of you! LOL! It's a beautiful picture of how God receives our acts of worship towards Him, isn't it?!

11/21/2006 6:10 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I love nag champa!!!

11/25/2006 10:47 AM  
Blogger carolyn said...

I too wish churchs could think outside of their stuffy services and re-embrace things like incense. It's like worship through all senses.

12/04/2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger PrairieGirl said...

i agree with free-lance mama, i don't know why christianity is so against eastern religions.
"eastern" religions are closer to christianity than most christians realize (for example: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_jckr1.htm.)
besides, shouldn't we find what unites us rather than what divides us? embrace our common human rituals, our common spiritual quest, our common search for Truth and try to learn from each other's differences.

peace.

4/05/2007 1:48 PM  

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