By Hind Khoury
“To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.”
It is not a coincidence that our holy book, the Bible, comes from a desert area: Palestine, Jordan and Egypt. In fact, water has been and continues to be truly the source and essence of life. What the Israelites experienced in biblical times, drought and water shortages, is the experience of Palestinians today.
The issue of water is a common theme throughout the Bible. It begins with the separation of water from water in Genesis (1:6) and ends in Revelation (21:6) with an appeal to everyone, sending the message of salvation in terms of God’s gift, the water of life. Every Christian is baptized with water, showing the very essential and important meaning water has in the Christian religion.
Water is a source of life and a gift of God to all. This becomes especially clear when we read the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-10), when Jesus is talking about the water of life, a synonym for salvation. But also in a literal sense water remains an essence of life. The dialogue between Jesus as a Jew and the woman as a Samaritan makes it very clear; water is life and should be distributed equally to everyone despite his or her cultural, religious or ethnic background. You can even draw the conclusion that everyone is responsible to work for access to water for everyone in this world. In the world today, we call that a human right – the right to have access to water.