The author continues looking at household objects connected with cleansing, with today’s object the bath and today’s Bible reading Luke 7:36-47, the passage where the woman breaks open the alabaster jar of perfume to wash and anoint Jesus before the crucifixion.

In Jesus’s time, having a bath was not an everyday occurrence; foot-washing was the standard activity for anyone welcoming a guest into their home. The woman who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and anointed him with perfume was only doing what the host, Simon, should have done. Luke makes it clear that the significance of this action is bound up in the woman’s awareness of forgiveness and points out, ‘Whoever has been forgiven little loves little.’ (Luke 7:47) Lent is a time when we need to ponder how much we have been forgiven and can then come to a new appreciation of what it cost Jesus to bring us into this new relationship.

Showers tend to be quicker than baths, where we can have the luxury of a long soak. We need to take time periodically to remember how far God has brought us and how much we have been forgiven.