Ooh that smell…

First – did a certain band sing that to you…


Stuff Christians Like is a hilarious book if you like your observations about church with a heavy dollop of sarcasm; and you feel like God does indeed have a sense of humor.

The book is a collection of essays taken from Johnathan Acuff’s blog, StuffChristiansLike.net.

Last night I read a bit entitled, “The Smell of Old Hymnals,” guess what it was about…  That smell is one I remember from my childhood – maybe I can blame Indiana Jones on my fascination with history – and as a child my brothers and I would sneak into the “big library” in the church and go on a Quest for the Oldest Book on the Shelf.  What type of book was always found?  Hymnals!  I can’t remember what they were, but they were old.  The note-heads were diamond shaped and the fonts a harsh serif (not the gently rounded notes and fonts used today).  Those skinny old hymnals contained many songs not in current editions of the hymnal; but with the plethora of “the skinnies” lurking around churches we can see the importance of those songs.  We keep them on a shelf so they will not be forgotten.

That experience of opening the hymnal is not a given anymore.  In The Journey we don’t use a hymnal.  We still sing many of the songs contained in those pages, but the words are projected onto a screen.  And there are many other churches that also make use of projectors.  In Stuff Christians Like Johnathan Acuff was speaking to how our sense of smell can remind us of church in our lives.  Are we losing that experience?

I don’t think so.  The kids sitting in a worship service that has words thrown on a screen will have different sensory memories from worship.

What will be today’s memories be?

Sitting with friends gathered around a table?
Listening to someone preach who makes reference to something relevant to their life outside of church?
Maybe listening to a live band will remind folks of worship…

How awesome would it be for the kid sitting out there in worship this Sunday to be reminded of worship by things in their life throughout the week – not just when cracking open a dusty book?

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