Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Passion and Betrayal on Seven Weeks for Water

Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday a day when Christ's last meal with his disciples is remembered by the church. By coincidence it is also the day this year when the UN in Geneva is marking World Water Day - two days early because of the Good Friday holiday.
This week's meditation on Seven Weeks for Water focuses on the idea of water as a sign of passion and commitment, and as a sign of betrayal.
Two bowls of water and ritual washings are told of in the narratives of Christ's passion - Jesus washing his disciples' feet in John's gospel and Pilate washing his hands in front of the crowd in Matthew's gospel.
I don't normally like mixing up the gospel narratives like this but as our meditations on water have progressed the image of these very different ways of washing really challenged me.
The meditation ends:
"As we meditate Christ's passion we reflect on our own service of others. We also seek to understand and enter into the suffering of so many in our world whose right to be human is being undermined by their daily struggle for access to clean water.
So are we going to follow Christ and take up the cloth and the bowl or follow Pilate and wash our hands of responsibility?"
In the section on how to take action there are ideas about doing things in preparation for World Water Day on Saturday including these:

  • Wash your hands and think
    Everytime you wash your hands this week remember to take responsibility for talking about water as a basic resource everyone has the right to.
  • Get passionate about water
    Find out what's going on near you for World Water Day and get involved with others in local, national and international water campaigns.
Please keep supporting the Ecumenical Water Network and building up your local water networks. The water Lenten meditations will continue past Easter - those following the Julian calendar will still be in Lent for several weeks yet. Next week young people from various places around the world will be writing about their involvement in water issues.
And remember the closing date for the Ecumenical Water Summer School is March 24th so use the holiday weekend to fill in the forms.