When Mike and I had our first yard I could not wait to get a bird bath. I have always enjoyed seeing the birds come to the bird bath. One Mother's day I got a multi level bird bath that had running water from the top level down. I would sit on my front porch and listen to that soothing sound. The birds came often to take a "bird bath". It seemed to be like a rinse off. When we were growing up, if for some reason we could not have a bath,, Mom would tell us to take a "bird bath". Instead of being submerged in the bath tub we would wash off at the sink.
I thought about being washed clean. John 13: 10, "Jesus answered, 'Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean,though not every one of you.'” Peter had asked about a bath because he did not understand what was happening. You can say the process of salvation begins with a bath, with a cleansing.
In those days it was common practice to bathe before you went to a meal. Walking through the dusty, dirty streets with sandals on you would need your feet washed again. When you arrived, as a guest, a servant would wash your feet. You did not need another bath. When we first go to Jesus we are washed clean of guilt and sin from our entire life. But as we journey on through our life our feet get dirty again. They need to be washed again. While we need that initial cleansing from Jesus, that never has to be repeated again, we are not perfect and we will get dirty again. We need those bird baths many times during our life.
If we take a honest look at ourselves, and our world, we know sin is alive and well. We ALL have a few things in common. We are all corrupted by sin. Paul wrote in Romans 3: 22-23, "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."
Jesus offers us the free gift of grace to all!
1 Corinthians 6: 11, "And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." After we were washed clean we began being sanctified - growing and being transformed into the image of Jesus. Sanctifications shows us that God is not finished with us when the bath is over! He continues working on us and changing us - giving us bird baths along the way.
"You were justified in the name of the Lord..." Before Jesus, we were condemned to an eternity of pain but now we are justified in the eyes of God. Because of Jesus, our sin has been removed. The way I learned justifications was, "just as if I have never sinned." When we are forgiven by Jesus, it is just as if I had never sinned.
As I watch all the rain, I am reminded of needing a bird bath. In this world - if we would all start with ourselves and let God cleanse us - oh what a world it would be! And let it begin with me!