Ecumenical Water Network

The EWN is a network of churches and Christian organizations promoting people's access to water around the world

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Week 1: The Desert

I will open rivers on the bare heights
And springs in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water
And the dry land fountains of water.
Isaiah 41:18

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
Psalm 42.1

What do we thirst for?

The biblical promise from the prophet Isaiah is that the dry lands can spring with fountains, that wells of fresh water are possible, even in the desert, even when there is no justice in the way water is distributed and paid for.

The beginning of Lent focuses on the desert, remembering the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness at the beginning of his ministry and how the people of God were fed during their desert wanderings in the book of Exodus.

Lent is a time for spiritual reflection, for thinking, learning and renewed commitment. A time to discover and listen to the physical and spiritual thirsts of our world and link that to our own thirst and God's promise of water in the desert.

More than a billion people thirst for access to enough clean water. Across the world inland lakes and seas dry up, rivers continue to be polluted and deserts increase in size. Making water a fundamental human right is a matter of survival for one in six human beings.

As Christians begin the Lenten pilgrimage we recognize that we live on a planet of plenty yet are nevertheless in a parched place, longing like the deer for living waters, thirsting for God's promise of water and of justice.

The image of water refreshing the desert offers a deep well of hope to all living through the devastation of drought and death. In all human yearning for meaning, satisfaction, peace and justice, water in the desert offers the real hope of renewal and profound change.

Written by Jane Stranz (WCC)

Together we can make a difference.

    • Test your water knowledge with the BBC Water Crisis Quiz
    • Think about what people thirst for in your town or village?
    • How can your church raise awareness of water issues?
    • Is there a local or national water campaign you could become active in?

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Posted By: EWN on Feb 04, 2008 02:27PM