Depending on where you live, the sense of the urgency of a healthy river or water system will vary.
In many places, essential river systems are being damaged, affected by dams, weirs, and irrigation systems. Pollution from industry and extraction can poison waters that might otherwise be used for drinking or recreation. The bottled water industry has commodified a resource necessary to life. Hydroelectric dams are a renewable source of energy but have significant impacts on communities and ecosystems. Climate change exacerbates our most extreme experiences of water: drought, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and typhoons.
The scripture readings for River Sunday paint a picture of justice and redemption for all people and all of God’s creation. The image of water provides a powerful metaphor for life, death, chaos, and transformation. There is a beautiful picture of a healthy life-giving river that is at the center of God’s whole and healthy realm.