David Ruis


I was privileged to be part of a gathering of songwriters in Melbourne last week. We were keen to hear from David Ruis - his experience, his theological drive - practical steps etc... David shared ALOT of things - among them was worship being the fragrance of Christ in the world... "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing." (2 Corinthians 2:15) he spoke of his experience that it's not just that you write songs with justice in them (words etc...) but that you write them from within a justice seeking community... that's different. It's not just a sexy lyric or a nice thought - but the songs themselves are formed on the justice journey - then they take on a weight, an authority - they have about them the 'smell' of justice. I've been thinking about justice as a fragrance ever since. We often approach justice like it's a to-do list of just more things we have to do or can't do... similar to the way we approach our religion I guess - but the justice God is truly seeking is a fragrance (to some it smells like life and to others death) - it's more of a sweet smell about your life... because it's rooted and is growing - it's living and organic - not rigid and dominated by systems and structures... the other thing about this passage of Scripture brings David to the KEY question about worship. The verse says that we are TO GOD the fragrance of Christ... not to the world but to God. So, he says that we always ask the wrong question about worship - 'are the lost listening? are the people pleased? do they get it? but what we should be asking and caring the most about is: IS GOD LISTENING? because true worship is to be the fragrance of Christ in the world TO GOD... it matters ALOT about whether we worship with God in mind... with God central... with our hearts trying to please Him more than anything else. This will change the way we worship - David suggests that this will change the way we live as well. The two are connected. So, here's to living as the fragrance of Christ in the world.