Diane's Blog

Whence is that Goodly Fragrance
Wednesday, December 13, 2017 by Diane Susek

Merry Christmas, everyone!  This is, without a doubt, my favorite time of year.  Believe me, I bring out the decorations and the music as soon as Thanksgiving passes.  On the Sunday following Thanksgiving I present my Christmas concert here in my hometown of York, PA, in the beautiful sanctuary of St. Matthew Lutheran Church.  Pianist Michael Faircloth is featured as well as Eric Riley, artistic director and organist at St. Matthew, David Diehl, cellist, Teresa Deckard, flautist, Chuck Long, trumpeter, as well as my brother, Buddy King, and nephew, Jonathan King, vocalists and The Christian School of York children’s ensemble.  We had a wonderful time this year, and Ron got to hear it because he did not leave for Africa until after it was over.  He returns in less than a week now.  I will be relieved when he is home safely and soundly.  There has been a lot of unrest in Zimbabwe in these last months.  

Each year, one particular Christmas carol is a “stand out” for me and this year it is an old French carol, “Quelle Est Cette Odeur Agreable”, translated as “What Is That Goodly Fragrance Flowing”. I first heard it several years ago by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and just never got the melody and lyrics out of my head!  So, before Ron left for Africa, I think I can safely say that he heard its strains throughout our house more than 100 times. It’s really true. I am of the musically obsessed!

  So here it is . . .

        Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing, stealing our senses all away,
        Never the like did come a-blowing, shepherds, in flow'ry fields of May,
        Whence is that goodly fragrance flowing, stealing our senses all away. 

        What is that light so brilliant, breaking here in the night across our eyes.
        Never so bright, the day-star waking, started to climb the morning skies!
        What is that light so brilliant, breaking here in the night across our eyes. 

        Bethlehem! there in manger lying, find your Redeemer haste away,
        Run ye with eager footsteps vieing! Worship the Saviour born today.
        Bethlehem! There in manger lying, find your Redeemer haste away.

 In Scripture it is said of Jesus, “And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon”, and He is called the “light of the world”.  He is the “lily of the valley and the bright and morning star.”  Surely, His must be the sweetest fragrance and the brightest light of all, making all other senses less potent and most certainly less desirable to the believer.  And because of His effect on us, then through our worship and service, we can be an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2) 

So, purely and simply, this is my prayer for all of you and for myself this glorious, sweet-smelling and light-breaking season: Breathe the baby (our Savior) in so deeply that you can’t help but attract and inspire those around you!

See you in 2018.  Christmas love . . . Diane

Try clicking here to go to YouTube to hear “my” carol!

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