Archive E.J. Hutchinson Nota Bene Reformed Irenicism

“Wash Me, Clothe Me, Adorn Me”: A Reformed Guide to Private Devotion (2)

I’m back to help you make all of your life a sacramental tapestry, in this case one you can wear.

On Friday, we took a look at the first section of the “Guide to Private Devotion” included at the back of A Liturgy, or Order of Christian Worship. In this post we’ll take a look at the second section, to be used while getting ready for the day.

Once again, several brief sentences of Scripture are offered for reflection, followed by a short prayer that brings out the spiritual analogies and significance of common daily activities such as washing in the morning. Just as marriage presents a picture of Christ and the church as bridegroom and bride, as Paul teaches in Ephesians (and as Isaiah had already foretold, as is clear below), so can other aspects of our common life be viewed from the vantage of their spiritual meaning.

One need not attempt to infuse one’s life with such meanings, as though they were self-made fictions imposed on the world from without–as though their generation were part of a project of making one’s life “more spiritual.”1 The meanings are already there, already part of “the givenness of things.” They simply require attention to be noticed. So, at any rate, a Reformed understanding of the order of creation, and its relation to the order of redemption, would suggest.

Whilst Washing and Dressing.

Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.–Ps. li. 2.

Ye are washed, ye are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.–1 Cor. vi. 11

The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin.–1 John i. 7.

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation; he hath covered me with a robe of righteousness as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.–Isaiah lxi. 10.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment.–Rev. iii. 5.

WASH ME, O Lord Jesus, lover of my soul, with Thine own precious blood, which cleanseth from all sin. Clothe me with the robe of Thy righteousness, and adorn me with the graces of Thy Spirit, that I may glorify Thee in my daily walk and conversation, and enjoy Thee forever.


  1. Thus the reader will note that my first sentence above is something less than Quite Serious.

By E.J. Hutchinson

E.J. Hutchinson is Assistant Professor of Classics at Hillsdale College.