A reflection on the interplay between the natural and the sacred, originally written for Marlborough’s Tower and Town May edition
‘Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty’ – John 4.10
In the human quest to find extra-terrestrial life – life outside the earth –, the search for water has been crucial. NASA’s motto in the pursuit of extra-terrestrial life has been “follow the water”. Why? Because, as far as we know, liquid water is essential to all life on earth, and therefore we assume it may well be essential to life outside our planet as well.
Given the fact that we cannot live without water, it is no surprise that in most world religions, including Christianity, water has a major role to play. It can be a threat: both gods and creatures have been thought to hide in seas and lakes, representing the dangers that people experience on sea. The power of gods and God has been shown in having power over water, such as the parting of the Red Sea and Jesus calming the storm.