Advent 2022 #22: Gas-Mangoes

As we know, Covid impacts your sense of smell. I was reminded of this the other day. Now, I don’t normally have a great sniffer, but I was convinced a few days ago, that someone needed to turn their gas off.

I was standing in my living area and I could smell gas. My instant thought was that someone in my apartment block needed to be warned straight away. However, of course, I had covid at that point in time, and it wasn’t a good idea for me to go running and knocking on everyone’s door, was it now?

So I sent up a quick prayer, walked down my corridor and realised I couldn’t smell the gas anymore. I blamed it on my crazy covid nose.

Later that evening as I was sitting on my lounge I could smell the gas again. I realised I was sitting near where I’d been standing earlier… which was near my fruit bowl.

I knew the mango had been there a little while so I picked it up and attempted to get a whiff with my covid nose.

Someone who knows more about Science than I do, will be able to explain why mangoes that are on the way out smell like someone’s left the gas tap on. Also, when I cut it up and ate it (it was still good) the gas smell floated around with the bran flakes and milk in my cereal bowl – but it wasn’t very strong.

However, the whole thing seems totally bizarre to me.

I’ve been reading ahead in Luke’s gospel the last few days, reaching the point where John the Baptist begins his ministry. Interestingly, one of the first instructions he gives to his listener is this: Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

Now my little anecdote about a gaseous mango really doesn’t help anyone understand what John means by that command.

Or does it…

What does repentance mean? It means to turn things around. It means that currently your fruit is ‘off’ and needs redemption.

When I got a whiff of that gas smell I thought my mango was beyond redemption. But it wasn’t. It was fine.

In the lead up to Christmas you might think all the talk about Jesus is not for you, if you’re not a believer. You might think that you’re beyond redemption.

But you’re not.

Repentance means you turn it all around and start living a different way.

In doing that, you produce ‘fruit’ that aligns with this new, ‘u-turned life’.

No one is past redemption. No one is blocked from repentance.

We just have to ask, believing the truth – that everything can be redeemed.

Even my awful gas-mango anecdote (even I didn’t know where it was going for a while there 🙂).

Yours redeeming even the worst of anecdotes,


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