Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur … When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter.
22 Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went for three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, ‘What shall we drink?’ 25 He cried out to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test. 26 He said, ‘If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.’
27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.
Freshwater ecosystems are in trouble. Since 1970, there has been an 83% decline in UK freshwater species of fish. Pollution kills life in our rivers and lakes and harms plants and animals – including humans.
This is what sin looks like. Our environment destroyed. The lives of the most vulnerable inhabitants of our world endangered. Reversing pollution – so that the waters can again be fresh and sustain life – requires repentance. By governments, businesses, and by us, too.
Look in your kitchen and bathroom – is there one thing from each you could switch to a product that does not contain harmful chemicals?
Prayer for the week
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.
from “I heard the voice of Jesus say”,
by Horatius Bonar (1808-1889)
Check your cupboards
With a parent or carer, go through your bathroom and kitchen cupboards. Could at least one or two products be switched for others with fewer harmful chemicals?
Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – A 40-Day Challenge inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK) are copyright 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.