I will be standing there in front of you on the rock of Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.Exodus 17:6
As a settler Canadian, I am accustomed to the ready availability of fresh, clean water at any moment on any day. I have also lived in the Himalayas of India where the provision of water was unpredictable day to day, and what was available had to be boiled thoroughly first because it was not safe to drink. Like the Israelites in the desert, I readily grumbled and complained when it was not available. This became a lesson for me in the dangers of the privileges that I had enjoyed and took for granted in Canada. I became acutely aware that the lack of water was a daily reality for millions of people – and that clean water was even more scarce. I also became aware of those who profit from the bottling and selling of a resource that is a necessity of life and a gift of the Creator.
The ongoing protection and sharing of clean water are part of our baptismal vocation to love neighbor as self and to “safeguard the integrity of God’s creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the earth.” Just as Moses followed God’s direction in order to offer water to the Israelites in the desert, we are called to partner with those protecting and sharing water. From joining the advocacy of Autumn Peltier, a young Indigenous water protector, to the relief efforts of the Red Cross to our daily habits to conserve and protect water in our community, we are called to share in the provision of God’s gift of water now and for future generations.
Creator of all, stir in us the passion to share the living water of the gospel as we also protect and share the waters of your creation to nourish all creatures. Amen.