Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14
There are 3 main reasons why we chose ‘Justice and Reconciliation’ as our missional theme for the month of March. There is the partners in mission appeal for The Salvation Army, the world day of prayer, and international women’s day.
But one thing I did not know at the time, was that ‘world water day’ is on March 22nd every year.
When I looked up the word ‘water’ in the Bible, I was reminded that it is talked about throughout; from the beginning to the very end. It is very much a dominant theme throughout our sacred text. That alone makes me glad that there is such a thing as world water day.
650 million people, or 1 in 10, have no access to safe water. If that isn’t a justice issue, then I don’t know what is.
In Canada, we often take fresh clean water for granted.We apparently use 250L per person, per day, making us amongst the highest water users in the world. In some developing countries, It is around 10L; 1/25th the amount we use.
This is indeed a global justice issue.
This year, the United Nations chose the focus to be about wastewater as opposed to conservation; it’s a huge untapped water resource. Wastewater makes up 1500 cubic kms annually; 6 times what exists in all rivers of the world combined.
Only 4% of it is treated and safely used. In developing countries, it is what often ends up back in the very source people use for drinking water, causing disease and death.
Wastewater can be used for non-drinking purposes like laundry, watering the flowers, flushing the toilet or cleaning the car. The technology already exists. Plus, nature has been doing it for approx. 3 billion years.
Just imagine – the water we drink today has already been consumed by the dinosaurs, not to mention some of the billions of people who have come before us.
Which gets me to my point. Water unites/reconciles us.
In this political climate of division and fear, maybe water is the key to reconciliation. No matter what colour we are, what religion we subscribe to, what our gender or socioeconomic status is, or whether we are deemed a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ person, all of us are composed of about 80% water. And all of us, no matter who we are or what we’ve done, will drink water in order to stay alive today and then go to the bathroom to relieve ourselves.
That unites us. We are all the same.
Until we finally get that, injustice will carry on.
So as a result, we will continue to strive for justice and reconciliation by trying to be the hand of God in the heart of the city.
Heavenly creator of all water,
As I am using water to wash myself, to drink and to live, I want to thank you for this most precious gift.
You sanctified water even at the beginning of creation as Your Spirit hovered above the waters. You sanctified water in such way, that we learned in the Holy Scriptures that several times you miraculously washed lepers clean.
Water is indispensable to life,
it has a great similarity to Your Spirit.
In You we live,
we move and have our being.
We would die without you.
In the same way in water we live,
we move and have our being.
Without water we would die.
Your spirit cleanses our souls just as water cleanses our bodies.
You have invited us to drink of the living waters of Your Spirit so that we may live eternally; we also need to drink water in order to live our earthly existence.
Thanks to water we have food that comes from the earth that has been irrigated in order to be fertile. Water brings life to creation.
I look around and I see that water is becoming very scarce. The good water that we need so much is disappearing.
A lack of water is causing a lot of human suffering and many areas of the earth are having draughts which are causing many losses. We are losing our crops, animals are dying, the earth is becoming useless and many human beings are losing their lives too.
By contrast, too much water caused by storms and heavy rains is becoming a great problem. The floods are causing destruction to crops, property, animals and human life. Many poor people are becoming homeless and unemployed because of the calamities caused by water.
Lord God of control, please bless the work of Your hands, forgive us and bless the water that we need so much. Bless the earth and bless us your creatures.
(adapted from here)