5 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 6 “Take the Levites from among the children of Israel and cleanse them ceremonially. 7 Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purification on them, ... (Numbers 8:5-7a)
The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin (I John 1:7); we are washed by the washing of the water by the Word (Ephesians 5:26); and Christ commands us to wash each others feet, just as He washed the feet of His twelve disciples (John 13:14). Seventh Day Adventists accompany communion with a foot washing ceremony. I have not seen the practice in many other churches, other than in some outlying Pentecostal services. However, I have participate in foot washing events, and the experience has been very profound.
Only Christ can cleanse us from our sins, only His blood can atone, only His Word, applied by His Spirit, can renew us in the spirit of our mind, but those who are made clean all over by the work of the cross, have to walk in the world on a daily basis. For all who trust in Christ, our daily walk is along dusty, soiled paths. We become weary, feel dry, and typological dust accumulates on our feet. This is where we need to wash each other's feet, in the Body of Christ. Sometimes, the physical act of taking a basin of water, a towel and kneeling at the feet of our brother, then washing his feet with gentle and kindly, water-soothing strokes, can communicate care and compassion. If it is with warm water, the sensation through the feet is very pleasant, to say the least. At the end of the process we feel washed. If this act is accompanied with confession of sin, and absolution, then we can experience an incredible sense of being clean from the inside out.
Our daily soiling will not remove us from the grace of God, but it can separate us from the sense of the immediate, manifest presence of God. It is that sense of the presence of God that can sustain us through very difficult trials. I am of the opinion that we have many in the body of Christ who suffer mental anguish because they have not had their feet washed. They are troubled by the daily soiling, and sometimes by the mud-slinging that comes from walking the Christian walk along the path of life.
Brother, let me be your servant,
Let me be as Christ to you,
Pray that I may have the grace
To let you be a servant too.