The persistent and continuing drought which began in the Midwestern United States in the summer of 2012 is a reminder, if we ever needed one, of how dependent we are on water for the flourishing of life—and how easy it is to take its availability for granted. Access to the water that is necessary for all of life's processes is likely to become a growing challenge throughout the whole world in the years ahead.
The thirst for water serves as a metaphor for the prophet Isaiah. He reminds the people of Israel that there is another kind of thirst which needs to be quenched if life is to be sustained at the level of meaning and wholeness. Unlike water, however, what is necessary to quench the thirst for wholeness is in unlimited supply. It is a gracious gift of God offered without the need of money and without price in an everlasting covenant of love.
Quench our thirst for wholeness, O God, through what you have promised to give: your love in an everlasting covenant. Amen.
Isaiah 55:1-9 (NRSV)
1 Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me; listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 See, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 See, you shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.