A Steward of Five Senses

A Steward of Five Senses

Have you ever wondered why incense emanates through a Buddhist Temple, why a worship leader strums his guitar during prayer, or why Jesus chose bread and wine as tools to represent his death and resurrection? Until recently, I’ve never stopped to question these traditions. I’ve always wondered why incense was used in temples, or why the worship leaders version of elevator music was necessary during prayer. It wasn’t until I was invited to my friend Andi’s small group that I realized these practices heighten your awareness of God’s presence.

My friend Andi leads a bible study in her Brighton apartment. Andi makes an extra effort to make her small group feel welcomed by the warmth of her home. She slices fruits and veggies (sometimes bakes cookies) for us to eat, steeps tea, Hillsong and Jesus Culture in the background while we work through scripture and share our struggles. When we pray, we hold hands. Its no wonder I feel the Holy Spirit is a part of this gathering. When Andi welcomes you to her home, she is welcoming you into the warmth that is Jesus Christ. Why God created us with five senses is no longer a mystery to me – thanks Andi.

Jesus called his disciples to gather before his crucifixion. He was asking his small group, his family of twelve, to congregate (ecclesia) for dinner where they could ‘be’ in Him. He gave us bread to dry our tongue and to feel the body that is Christ. Jesus gave us wine to taste the blood that is his sacrifice. In the same way that Christ sent his son as a tangible example of his love – something we can digest – so does he give us the sacrament. He gives us his son. God understands we struggle to know his existence. To come to know him at an intimate level takes incredible faith. So he gives us senses to fully experience him – to know he is real. In the same way, fire appeals to the five senses: you can hear the wood crackle, feel the warmth of the flame, taste and smell the dry wood, and see oxygen combust in a flash if light. It’s no wonder many of our most memorable conversations (moments) take place by fire.

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A goal of mine on Kingdom Journeys is to experience God at my intimate capacity. What does this mean? It means I want to feel so full of the Holy Spirit, so in tune with his will for me that there is no doubting his existence. He is hungry for us and I thank him now for giving me the senses to receive him.

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Post Script: How I experience God

Touch: I feel his presence when I run

Smell: the smell of fresh macaroons

Taste: the taste of fresh mango

Hearing: the resounding melodies of Yo-yo Ma

Sight: the sight of the Pyrenees mountains as I walk the Camino to Santiago

P.P.S. If you want a memorable experience, find environments that appealing to the 5 senses.






  • Great stuff man, adding the personal bit at the end is great. God will grow that list so much. Make sure you notice Him in the moment, it’s much more impactful than just remembering.

    • Justin

      Thanks Hugh!

  • kate vander wiede

    hey now, I recognize those pictures 🙂 Missing your face but so glad that you are adventuring, exploring and finding your way!

  • glace

    Neil: thanks for sharing this. It’s awesome. Please tell Colby and Hugh that in addition to my lower back being healed, my upper back which was feeling numb before Spain is feeling a lot better!

  • Helena Jordão

    So good 🙂 keep expecting Him to show up, you’re bringing that home with you!

  • Seth Barnes Jr.

    Thanks for the encouragement to listen to the Spirit leading us to bring healing to a hurting world. Keep it up, man!

  • Lovin the Bruce Lee yellow in the photo!

    Great post.

    • Sunoh Choe

      hahaha #gottatrademarkthat

  • Neil Bruinsma

    The Camino is no joke. Glad to do it with you!

    • Sunoh Choe

      whenever i could keep up with you!

  • polonca

    Bravo Sunoh!I Great to reading this blog (oh ,memories…)

    • Sunoh Choe

      thanks Polonca!

  • Glace

    Beautiful. La verdad tambien. Great to walk and talk with you over all those klicks! I’m going back with my wife and kids next summer to finish what I began with you guys.

    • Sunoh Choe

      Haha that’s awesome David! verdaderamente, van a tener una experiencia espectacular!!, definitely write about it and let us know how that goes. Remember, light light light packs and compression socks and underwear haha

  • Carol

    So proud of you my sweet girl!!!

  • That’s a really good revelation! Amazing blog, so happy for what y’all are doing!