Washing and new beginnings

What do you do when you're dirty and sweaty? You wash. 

What do you do when you're tired and stressed? You relax in a bath or pool.

What do you do when you need a kick start in the morning? You wake yourself up with a shower.

Wonderful gifts for those of us with the privilege of easy access to fresh, clean water. After a bath, shower or swim, one can feel like a new person, ready to face whatever comes next. Tomorrow is the Sunday when Christians remember the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan by his cousin John. It marked the beginning of his public ministry. Jesus didn't need to undergo John's baptism of repentance, but he wanted to be alongside those who did, fully immersed in being human.

Without water we couldn't live, so it's not surprising that most of the world's religions use water in a variety of symbolic ways. This is certainly true in the Jewish religion in which Jesus was brought up. One of the blogs I follow is that of Velveteen Rabbi, written by Rachel Barenblat a creative writer and Jewish rabbinic student who tomorrow will be ordained as a rabbi. She was planning a pre-ordination immersion in water. On 4 January 2011 she posted a beautiful prayer she wrote to use before the mikvah. Here it is:
Intention / כוונה 
I come before You today 
in gratitude for the teachers who have guided me 
in deepening my spiritual practice 
in heady intellectual learning 
in opening my heart to Torah, 
to God, and to community 
and in how to tie my shoes 
Holy One of Blessing, thank You 
for leading me to my community of learning 
for being with me through struggles and rejoicing 
for my beloved companions on this journey 
for my family and friends who have supported me 
and for the riches of this tradition 
Help me to let go of what I need to release 
So that I may be open 
to the changes which are coming. 

Is there anything you need to let go of, so as to be open to the changes coming for you?


  1. Is there anything I need to let go of, so as to be open to the changes coming my way?

    I'm always willing to "let go" of my preconceived religious views and traditions when God opens my eyes of my need shed them. Unbiblical concepts (traditions of men) will always hinder the freedom I have in Christ.

    English Standard Version
    So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

    Good question :-)


    BTW, I like your answer to my SONday post :-)

  2. Thank you Ron for your answer to my question.Freedom in Christ is a precious gift of God. But how do you think we can judge if a concept is 'Biblical' without interpreting scripture in the light of Christian tradition? Or would you see Christian tradition as something different from 'traditions of men'? More personally I don't think I always know what I need to let go of until a change challenges my preconceived ideas.


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