World Water Day.March22

UN World Water Day (WWD) is recognised each year on March 22. In 2022, the theme is “Groundwater: making the invisible visible.”

Groundwater resources are the invisible lifeline of our planet. They provide almost half of all drinking water worldwide, about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about one third of the water supply required for industry. Yet many people are unaware of the importance of groundwater. Read more here.

Without water, we would die. Water is essential for life on earth, not just human life but all life. Water is needed for drinking, cleaning, washing, and making crops grow. There is no substitute for this precious resource, and yet we waste it, we pollute it, and we even commodify it! Today more than two billion people still lack safe access to clean drinking water. Worldwide, 990 children under 5 die each day due to complications from dirty, unsafe water. (That’s a little hard to imagine with the choice of coffees and freshly blended juices at our disposal, but it’s true!).
Article: Climate crisis fuels existing water injustice 

Worship resources: Church World Service.

  • 1 of every 6 people in the world lacks access to safe drinking water.
  • Twice as many lack access to improved sanitation.
  • 80 countries, home to 40% of the world’s population, are encountering serious water shortages.
  • In the 1990s the number of children killed by diarrhea — the result of unsafe water and sanitation — exceeded the number of people killed in armed conflicts since the Second World War.
  • One toilet flush (western toilet) uses as much water as the average person in a developing country uses for a whole day’s drinking, cooking, washing, and cleaning.

Here’s a sobering look at why not to leave the water tap running…..

Many world religions celebrate the symbol of water. Christians use water in four different ways:
* to recall birth,
* to evoke death,
* to typify renewal,
* and to suggest washing.

Gail Ramshaw points out in her book Treasures Old and New, that water also functions as a symbol of one another in the church. Filled with the Spirit, we nourish one another. “We are a cup of water for one another … Christ the water, incarnating God’s water of creation, flows continuously in the Spirit, who waters the believers, who themselves become the spring of living water in the world.”
(Source: Jenny Gallo, Carrot Top Studio email)

Lord Jesus Christ, You call all who are thirsty to come to you and drink from the fresh and living water that flows from your heart. Yet many live in dry and thirsty lands, drink from polluted streams and struggle for access to safe drinking water.
Have mercy on them O Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Forgive our selfish and unthinking actions that have stripped forests, polluted wells and caused toxic waste to enter the water systems.
Have mercy on us O Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, We thank you, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.
Have mercy on us O Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, We commit ourselves to value and care for your gifts to us. May rivers of living water flow from us with compassion and caring to all who suffer from thirst and pollution.
Have mercy on them O Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ, We thank you, for the water of Baptism. In it we are buried with you in your death. By it we share in your resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit
Have mercy on us O Lord.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Refreshed by your spirit, and following in your footsteps, may we continue to serve you provide cups of cold and refreshing water for the people and creation entrusted to our care.
Have mercy on all of us Lord
And fill us with the waters of life.
(Source:Christine Sine, Godspace)

Praised be You, my Lord,
through Sister Water
who is so useful,
and pure.
(Source:  from The Canticle of the Creatures by St. Francis of Assisi)

Prayer for Sister Water
We praise and thank You, Lord,
for the gift of living water.
Guide us
to use it wisely,
learn from its humility,
consume it sparingly,
and protect its purity,
so that with St. Francis,
we may truly enjoy water. Amen.
(Source: Cathal Duddy)

A prayer about water
God of rain and river,
of stream and storm,
of sea and silent pools,
of waterfall and waterhole,
of wells and waves,
of aquifer and aqueducts,
Hear us as we pray
for water fresh and pure for all.
And guide us to use your water
wisely and well,
ensuring that all your creation
can share in your bounty.
(Source: Ruth Williams, quoted on WDP website)

Music: Like a healing stream
Each of the 4 verses compare God to a different form of water, and picture the movement of God bringing a newness to life in the form of healing, fullness, peace and love.  
Like a healing stream in a barren desert,
Spirit water bringing life to dusty earth,
God is trickling through our lives as in a dream unfolding,
Promising revival and rebirth…
Like a healing stream.

Like a gentle rain on a thirsty garden,
Spirit water come to nourish tiny seed,
God is bubbling through the soil to coax a new creation,
Yearning for an end to want and need…
Like a gentle rain.

Like a river strong with a restless current,
Spirit water rushing on to distant shore,
God is carving out a channel in a new direction,
Calling for an end to hate and war…
Like a river strong.

Like a mighty sea reaching far horizons,living-water-2_1080938639
Spirit water with a love both deep and wide,
God is working in our hearts to shape a new tomorrow;
God will always challenge and provide!
Like a mighty sea,
Like a river strong,
Like a gentle rain,
Like a healing stream.”
(Source: Bruce Harding, 2003, More Voices#144) 

God of love, so flood us with your love that we will be beacons of love, peace, understanding, forgiveness and hope in an often dark, divided and violent world. Make us channels of your love, agents of transformation in a troubled world.
God of compassion, justice, truth and goodness, so flood us with your compassion that our hearts and minds will be opened to those who suffer and need our help; and that we will seek to serve those we can with a selfless love. Empower us to fearlessly speak truth to power; pursue justice for the poor and disadvantaged, the homeless, Indigenous peoples and refugees; and strive for the common good in a society which cares for all and nurtures the wellbeing and potential of all.
God of generosity and hospitality, grant us warm and generous hearts to welcome and embrace all, regardless of socioeconomic status, ability or disability, age, ethnicity, faith beliefs or non-belief, gender and sexual orientation.
God of creation, beauty and diversity, so flood us with your love that we will turn away from a selfish and reckless consumerism that pollutes, exploits and destroys; and commit to significantly reducing our carbon footprints. Inspire us to strive for a society which cares for our precious and fragile planet and its air, forests, soils and waters; preserves its wonder and beauty; and cherishes its myriad life forms, recognising the deep interconnectedness and mutual dependence of all life.
Open the hearts and minds of all political leaders to the reality of global warming and give them the desire and will to act urgently to combat its causes; and bless and uphold all those individuals and organisations striving to care for your creation. Amen.
(Source: Roland Ashby, the living water website)

About admin

Rev Sandy Boyce is a Uniting Church in Australia Minister (Deacon). This blog may be a help to people planning worship services.
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