The citizens said to Elisha, “As you can see, sir, this city is in a good location, but the water is bad, and the land causes miscarriages.”
He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put some salt in it.” They did so. Elisha then went out and threw salt into the spring. He said, “This is what the Lord has said: I have purified this water. It will no longer cause death and miscarriage.” The water has stayed pure right up to this very day, in agreement with the word that Elisha spoke.
-2 Kings 2:19-22
After Elijah dies, Elisha’s first miraculous act is to purify the water of the community he is visiting. According to the citizens there, their water was causing illness, miscarriage, and death. It only takes a little salt to be put in the spring at Elisha’s command. Then Elisha pronounced the Lord had purified the water. And it was so!
Sometimes Scripture has a metaphorical application, like the water can be thought of as creation, and Elijah purifying it can be seen as creation beginning again. But sometimes, the meaning is so practical and obvious we miss it. Did you know that half of the world’s population does not have access to clean drinking water? And that dirty water kills more people each year on our planet than all wars combined?
As Lent continues, sometimes I start to miss the little creature comforts I deny myself during Lent. It sets my priorities right again when I think about people not having something as simple as water. And it’s not a miracle that’s needed to get it to them; it’s my own willingness to share what I have. Well, maybe that is a miracle in its own way!
For clean water for all, O Lord, we pray. For willingness to share all I have, O Lord, I pray! Amen.
Learn more about what Disciples are doing for clean water.
Play a game. See how fast each of you can drink a cup of pure water. Then see how slowly you can each sip it. Explain that God gives us water to share on earth. Thank God for the water you drink.