The Need To Stay Clean
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. – Psalm 51:7.
(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles.) – Mark 7:3-4.
The houses of Tudor England were filthy, germ-infested disease traps, with fleas and lice everywhere. People seldom took baths and clothing was truly clean only when it was new—washer women “cleaned” with cow dung, hemlock, and remnants of soap. The streets were worse. Unpaved and rutted, they were either muddy or dusty. Household garbage was deposited there every day, as were the contents of chamber pots. Refuse piled up in putrid heaps until it was finally scraped away, the stench overwhelming. Cardinal Wolsey solved the problem of horrible odors by holding a scented rose under his nose when in public. Those who could afford it sloshed heavy perfume on themselves.
Cleanliness may not be next to godliness in social success, but it far excels beauty and adornment as we witness of a Christ who cleanses!