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Ash and Oil: February 20

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream.” (Amos 5:24)

God requires justice from his people – and not just a little drip of it here and there, but a rushing flow, a river of it that cleanses, renews and refreshes. Justice is a life-force that soaks into parched hearts and communities bringing with it peace, renewal, shalom.

We must have water to live. We must have justice to live the way God requires.

Every day we turn on the tap and clean, safe water comes out for us to drink. We use it to wash our dishes and clothes, even to wash our cars or water our lawns. We rarely think about how much we use, because it’s always there. We probably don’t worry too much about its cleanliness, because we know there’s a system and process in place to make sure it’s safe. But for many in the world, access to potable water is only an unfulfilled wish.

In the little community of Kola, Kenya, the villagers depend upon the handful of seasonal rivers that trickle near their homes for water to nourish themselves and their crops. With ongoing climate disruption, these rivers have become less and less seasonal, and more and more non-existent. Utooni Development Organization, an agency supported by World Renew, is changing that. With the implementation of sand dams--the use of sand to trap water that can be accessed during the dry season--countless families in Kola and the surrounding area can have access to safe, clean water for drinking, cooking and hygiene all year round.

Pray: Lord, even as we desire and act for justice to roll down like mighty waters, we see that even the most basic of needs, like clean drinking water, are not available to all of your children. Though we can quench our physical thirst, make us thirst for justice and righteousness for all of your creation.

Take the next step: Bottled water may be super convenient, but it’s also a harmful habit. Producing the plastic for those handy bottles uses a lot of oil (17 million barrels of oil a year to meet bottled water demand in America alone!) You can keep the convenience, but reduce the environmental impact by purchasing a reusable water bottle this week. And next time you fill up your reusable bottle, give thanks for access to clean water, and remember those for whom clean water is not yet a reality.

[Image: Flickr user Nicolas Raymond]

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