Reviving Ritual

Reviving Ritual

September 03, 2019

Reading Leviticus, we know that priests often engaged in ritual bathing. This cleansing was meant to wash clean, not just the body, but the mind, and heart, and prepare all three to be received into the presence of God.  

But this isn't the only context in which bathing appears in the Bible. Bible Odyssey reminds us that Ruth bathed and anointed herself with oils before going to Boaz to persuade him to have her as his wife.

How differently we view the act of bathing now! I know for me, anyway, bathing is an act that I have exactly 3.2 minutes to complete before a member of my household (including cats), realizes I've sneaked away. A quick shower, a hop or jump into the tub, our adjectives and verbs reveal how little time and thought we give to bathing. It is something to do as fast as possible to not offend those at the homeschool co-op or at the play date we almost forgot we had scheduled.

I'm going to propose something totally outrageous. We need to cleanse and prepare the vessel that is our body and temple through intentional bathing. Just as ancient priests washed away impurities of the body, mind, and spirit, we can claim that cleansing for our own benefit. There is no homework battle, sulky teen, absent-minded hubby, or burned meal that should compete with a little uninterrupted time alone to strip yourself of both your baby spit-up stained shirt and the harder to see stains from the stresses and woes of the day.

It doesn't have to take long, and understand that your time alone is another weapon in your arsenal and provides necessary cleansing that keeps the grime from building up emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. You will emerge with clarity and an openness to hear that still small voice that we so easily tune out with our busy lives.

  • Set your time, allow at least 25 minutes. Coordinate this time with your spouse or an older child who can keep an eye on things so you won't be interrupted 
  • Gather everything you need to make your bath feel special. Browse my store for some great ideas. Include a small pitcher or container (nothing breakable).
  • You can heat up the bottom of your tub with a couple of kettles of boiling water, this will help keep your water temp optimal for longer. Please do not attempt to get in until you have filled your tub with water of an appropriate temperature.
  • Once you are submerged, focus on the environment you created and let your mind quiet.
  • Use your pitcher to pour water over your body. You can do this at any time or right before exiting the tub if you want it to flow over your entire body.
  • Let all the woes and impurities drain out with the bath water. Finish your bath ritual with your favorite lotion or oil.

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