“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)
We aren’t the fragrance of Christ to God in ourselves. In ourselves, we carry the smell of death. But God has turned us into aromatic sacrifices through His Son and Spirit. The Spirit’s descent at Pentecost made each of the disciples a burning altar. Salted with the fire of the Spirit, we become sacrifices pleasing to God.
We must beware of the naïve idea that our music can ‘please’ God as it would please a cultivated human hearer. That is like thinking, under the old Law, that He really needed the blood of bulls and goats. To which an answer came, mine are the cattle upon a thousand hills,’ and ‘if I am hungry, I will not tell thee.’ If God (in that sense) wanted music, He would not tell us. For all our offerings, whether of music or martyrdom, are like the intrinsically worthless present of a child, which a father values indeed, but values only for the intention.
—C.S. Lewis, “On Church Music” in Christian Reflections, 98-99
I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. And it will please the LORD better than an ox or a young bull with horns and hoofs. (Psalm 69:30-31)
Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing. (PSalm 107:22)
To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalm 116:17)
O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, And teach me Your ordinances. (Psalm 119:108)
May my prayer be counted as incense before You; the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. (Psalm 141:2)