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 3

The third Biblical reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2014 is by Guillermo Kerber, the World Council of Churches programme executive for Care for Creation and Climate Justice. Based on a personal experience of a pilgrimage on water in the Bible, he underscores water as the “source of life” and introduces water as the protagonist of crucial moments in the history of people’s lives in the Bible.
Week 3

River of Life, Bamberg Apocalypse

The third Biblical reflection of the Seven Weeks for Water 2014 is by Guillermo Kerber, the World Council of Churches programme executive for Care for Creation and Climate Justice. Based on a personal experience of a pilgrimage on water in the Bible, he underscores water as the “source of life” and introduces water as the protagonist of crucial moments in the history of people’s lives in the Bible.

A pilgrimage towards water of life

In the context of the WCC’s pilgrimage of justice and peace, the Seven Weeks of Water this year focuses on a “pilgrimage towards water justice”. When asked to offer some reflections on the theme, there came to my mind an activity in which I participated last year during the Time for Creation. On a grey and rainy September morning around 40 people from various churches met at the Mouilles pond in Bernex, Geneva, Switzerland, to walk around the pond and reflect on water in the Bible. We called it a “pilgrimage on water in the Bible” and made a tour around the pond, with various stops along the way, to reflect on how water appears in the Bible and how we, in our daily lives, relate to water. We were carrying 20–litre buckets of water to remember the women in Africa who walk for miles to get drinking water, as we had learned that morning in an earlier presentation on H2O – Energies, a Swiss NGO providing drinking water to poor communities in various countries in Africa. After these biblical reflections we had an ecumenical celebration on the shore of the pond. The following reflections are an excerpt of what was shared during this activity.

To continue reading, please download the  reflection (pdf, 439 KB)

Thoughts for reflection

  1. As a time for conversion and repentance, Lent could be a time to look at the various meanings of water from a spiritual point of view and change our behaviours in terms of our consumption patterns.
  2. What images of water do you have in your mind with special meaning for your life? It can be a lake, a river, a sea, an ocean, a simple pond… What do these images tell you?

Questions for Discussion

  1. What passage about water in the Bible speaks to your heart? Water as source of life, water as destruction, water that liberates … Why do you find it so significant?
  2. How much aware are you about the relevance of water in your daily life, in your community, in your  country?
  3. Given the above spiritual significance of water, what would the pilgrimage towards water justice mean for you this Lent?

Ideas for Action

  1. Learn more and get engaged on water concerns in your community, your country.
  2. Suggest that your congregation or parish sponsor an activity (a celebration, a reflection, a concrete action) at the local level.
  3. Share your reflections and actions with the Ecumenical Water Network.

Please note: Opinions expressed in Biblical reflections or background resources do not necessarily reflect EWN and WCC policy.