Anyone for a bath?

A friend remarked to me recently that it seems to him that the world is divided into those who like baths and those who like showers.  He could be right; I can certainly think of people I have known who were very definitely in favour of one or the other – as indeed am I!

Baths.  Roman baths, Turkish baths, slipper baths, hip baths, tin baths, baby baths, seaweed baths, mud baths, Dead Sea salt baths, hot baths, cold baths – so many to choose from.  And, of course, the shower-bath, as it was originally known.  Fictional baths too, or rather fictional lovers of the bath, from Bilbo Baggins to Lord Peter Wimsey.  Not to mention, as those of a certain age may recall, Flanders and Swann extolling the delights of the bath in song and suggesting that all the problems of the world would be solved if only warring parties could meet face to face – in the bath!

But even the most devoted lover of baths might have second thoughts were they to see the bath I noticed some years ago in Ireland.


Who or what might have bathed there, or when it was last used, I had no idea, but it reminded me of the Lord’s word to His faithless people through Jeremiah:

For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water.  (Jeremiah 2:13)

What fools we are, seeking our joy and satisfaction in this world, adopting its values, immersing ourselves in its culture, using its methods, when true joy could be ours in the Lord Jesus Christ!

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

                                                                                                John 15:10-11

Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,

Thou fount of life, Thou light of men,

From the best bliss that earth imparts,

We turn unfilled to Thee again.


Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood;

Thou savest those that on Thee call;

To them that seek Thee Thou art good,

To them that find Thee, all in all.


We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread,

And long to feast upon Thee still;

We drink of Thee, the fountain-head,

And thirst our souls from Thee to fill.


Our restless spirits yearn for Thee

Where’er our changeful lot is cast;

Glad, when Thy gracious smile we see;

Blest, when our faith can hold Thee fast.


O Jesus, ever with us stay;

Make all our moments calm and bright;

Chase the dark night of sin away;

Shed o’er our souls Thy holy light.

                             Latin, c 11th century

                             trans by Ray Palmer