Friday, May 20, 2016

Justice Devotional - Water: A Source of Live

Devotion to Justice
A series of devotions from the Justice table on the topics of
  • Women and children
  • Hunger and poverty
  • Creation care
  • Immigration

WATER: A Source of Life

John 4:7-15

Living on an island — a speck of volcanic rock in the middle of the vast Pacific — we are surrounded by water but have a limited source of fresh water. We have become spoiled by a false comfort that our water is unlimited so we continue building more golf courses and taking long showers. We hear stories about the growing number of people who don't have access to clean water but our comfort clouds our awareness and we remain unmotivated to do anything.

When Jesus asked for a drink from the woman of Samaria, he, on one level, is acknowledging the importance of water to our physical health; to life itself. Without a regular/steady source of water, any living part of creation would perish. When Jesus offers the woman "living water", he is proclaiming a spiritual truth that reminds us of an additional level of life. Without the nourishment from this spiritual well, our physical selves would lose all sense of purpose.

This obviously relates to other teachings of Jesus that could lead us toward a balanced life; one that is healthy in body, mind and spirit. The inter-connectedness of this balance is easy to understand; when one part suffers, they all suffer. It's easy to fully understand the physical result of the body not receiving any water; death. However, we find it more difficult to grasp the significance of a lack of spiritual nourishment. We see people functioning quite well within healthy bodies who don't exhibit any definitive spiritual practice. So, what happens to our theory about a balanced life and the importance of spiritual health?

Perhaps, our care for the sources of clean water can become a metaphor for the living water of faith. As our physical life is dependent upon water so is our spiritual life dependent upon faith — and all that is sacred. These sources of life are so inter-dependent that our care for one (or lack of) has an impact on the other.

Our protection and preservation of the rain forest, the watershed and the aquifer has a direct impact on the entire ecosystem of the planet: the land, our food supply, climate change, air quality and the ability to sustain life. Without water, there is no life.

Without faith, life is incomplete. Clean water and a healthy faith require daily decisions in order for life and health to be sustained; conscious usage, wise/moral choices, common sense, and consideration of others.

For instance, non-potable water can be used on golf courses and road mediums while household gray water and water catchments can be used on lawns and gardens. Likewise, using kindness and compassion to cultivate relationships is much better than using power and selfishness.

We must preserve our sources of life: clean water and spiritual health.

John Heidel
Christ Church, Uniting Disciples and Presbyterians, 1300 Kailua Road,
Kailua, Hawaii 96734 (Green Chalice Congregation)
Creation Care
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