Water World Day – For the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Water in the desert

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland.

(Isaiah 43:16-21)


  1. 1. One person goes to the empty well and says : I am thirsty, there is no water , God I need you.
  2. 2. People from different part of the church are coming holding vessels with water
  3. 3. Then they come together at the well they start to fill it with their water

Call to Worship

Water of the oceans and seas,

Rivers and lakes,

Streams and springs,

Grace given by God.

And a wind of God swept over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)

Water of birth,

Source of life,

Water of baptism,

Washing our sins away.

Waters of the (please fill in name of local stream, river, lake, mountain, forest…)

And of the (please fill in name of local stream, river, lake, mountain, forest…)

Waters of yesterday

And tomorrow.

And a wind of God swept over
the face of the waters.
(Genesis 1:2)

We worship in the name of the Blessed Trinity, one God, now and forever.


Call to Confession

A person comes to take water from the well. Another person says: Stop!

The first person replies: I am thirsty.

The second person: The water of this well is not for you!


Water is the cradle of life, expression
of God’s grace. Yet almost one billion people today have no access to clean drinking water. Our water resources are being depleted and degraded as a consequence of our agricultural and industrial use of water, deforestation and climate change, over-consumption and waste, pollution and population growth.

Those who suffer most from this situation are the vulnerable: the children, the elderly, the sick, the poor.

While some today have water in abundance, millions and millions cry out for a few daily liters of clean water. Too often public policies and economic structures do not overcome the discrimination and exclusion that are at the heart of the global water crisis.

Prayer of Confession

Let us pray:

Creator of the waters, source of life,

We confess our incapacity to face

the many distortions of our world,

including the misuse of water.

But we also confess our tendency

To establish limits to your free gift

Of love for everyone.

Forgive us when we become a disruption

To your kindness and justice.


The person at the well who had come for water says:

A drop,

only a drop God.

A drop of grace,

a drop of mercy,

a drop of water

into our thirsty mouths

and our parched lives.



Words of Forgiveness

Isaiah 41,17-20

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the Lord will answer them, I will not forsake them. I will open rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will put in the wilderness the cedar, the acacia, the myrtle, and the olive; I will set in the desert the cypress, the plane and the pine together, so that all may see and know, all may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.


Prayer for the day

The Lord be with you.    

And also with you.

Let us pray:

Source of the living water,

Cleanse us from our fears and anguishes,

Quench our thirst for justice and peace,

Fill us with the joy of your presence so we become people

Spreading your free gift of love and compassion

For the whole world.



Gospel Reading


Old Testament reading for 21 March 2010, fifth Sunday of Lent, from the Common Revised Lectionary:

Isaiah 43:16-21 (Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters…)

New Testament reading from the Common Revised Lectionary:

John 12:1-8 (Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany…)


Other appropriate readings:

Genesis 21:14-19 (Hagar and Ishmael in the desert)

Exodus 17:1-17 (Water from the rock)

Isaiah passages (43:14,18)

Psalm 42

Baptism of Jesus in all four Gospels

Matthew 25:31-46 (Unto the least of these…)

Mark 9:41 (Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink …)

John 4:1-26 (Woman at the well)

John 7:38  (Let the one who believes in me drink…) Revelation passages (21:5, 22:1)



For sermon samples and introductions to some of the suggested readings, please see:


Suggested hymns

River (by Julian Pattison, Canada)

Healing River (by Fred Hellerman, USA)

A água (by Simei Monteiro, Brazil)

Prayers of Intercession


O God our Creator, you formed the earth and saw that it was good. Today our rivers are being polluted and are drying up. This makes your people thirst.


God this is unjust.

Lord, bless Your people.


We pray for those who do not have access to safe water:

O God our Redeemer, during your life on earth you broke down the walls that divide us and restored the dignity of the oppressed. Today your gift of water is unequally shared amongst the rich and the poor. 900 million still do not have access to safe drinking water.


God this is unjust.

Lord, bless Your people.


We pray for people affected by water pollution.

O God our Sustainer, your renew and refresh Your people and You make all things new. Today 4 billion people suffer from diarrhea and two million die each year from preventable water-related diseases.


God this is unjust.

Lord, bless Your people.


God of all nations, as part of the Ecumenical Prayer Cycle we pray this week for China, Hong Kong, Macao, we pray for their councils of churches and their efforts towards unity.


What you do is always well done.


Lord, bless Your people.


We pray for this community:

God of all peoples You have brought us together to fellowship in this place and make great Your name.


What you do is always well done.

Lord, bless Your people.


God you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end we give you thanks for the lives of please insert names.


What you do is always well done.

Lord, bless Your people.


We also bring before you please insert names.


With your healing presence,

Lord, bless Your people.


The Peace


Sending forth & Benediction


Go now from this service of worship to the service of God’s people near and far, marked by the water of your baptism and refreshed by the living water that Jesus offers to you.

Listen for the parched voices of the least of these; search out the dry places and the arid souls, and become for them a spring of living water, gushing up to eternal life.

And as you go, may the blessings of the God of life, the Christ of love, and the Spirit of grace be upon you this day and forevermore.



This material is provided through the Ecumenical Water Network’s  Seven Weeks for Water campaign for World Water Day (22 March).  If you would like to support us consider a special offering for the Ecumenical Water Network. You can also donate directly online.

Find out more about the Ecumenical Water Network at: http://water.oikoumene.org

This order of service is based on a service that was prepared by Pastor Lusmarina Campos Garcia of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Geneva in Switzerland together with the participants in the 2008 Summer School on Water organized by the Ecumenical Water Network. Additional materials from Church World Service (USA) have been included.

Title photo by Evan Leeson:


Photo of the well by Nic McPhee:



One thought on “Water World Day – For the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.