Saying Yes to Life Session 2
Saying Yes to Life Session 2
Session 2 of the Saying Yes to Life lent study explores the literary and historical context of the creation account of Genesis 1 and the significance of light and darkness in the bible and the modern world.
Saying Yes to Life

Let the waters be separated

Featured Bible Verse

Genesis 1:6-8


This home group lent study explores our relationship to water, as a source of spiritual and physical life and an object of beauty. It aims to inspire practical action towards a world filled with God’s justice. It also features an interview with Thabo Makgoba, the Archbishop of Cape Town.

This session is formed from the discussion questions from the end of chapter 2 of Ruth Valerio’s book Saying Yes to Life. As such, the questions often reference the book.   

Featured Quote

Water is a powerful symbol throughout the bible. This reflects the fact that the bible was written by people who were intensely aware of how precious water was and of the ever-present threat of it running out – far more so than some of us reading this… This awareness in turn made them more appreciative of water as a gift from God, his provision for creation. (p. 26-27) 


In this chapter’s interview, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, reflects spiritually and practically on water.

Lent Course Notes from the Diocese of Bristol

Water is a powerful symbol throughout the Bible. Jewish thinking says that God specifically put his people in a land with no major rivers precisely to help them remember that God was the ultimate provider of water and of all their needs. {page 26}

As Jesus tells the Samaritan woman he meets at the well – she who has had to collect her water in the heat of the day because she has been rejected by her village – he is the one who gives living water: ‘Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14). {page 32}

Water is a truly amazing part of our world and of what enables life to exist. Although freshwater covers less than one percent of the earth’s surface, we are utterly dependent on it for our survival and it provides the habitat for about ten percent of the world’s known species. In the 20th Century, freshwater fish have had the highest extinction rate worldwide among vertebrates and, overall, freshwater species numbers have seen an 83 percent decline since 1970. An 83 percent decline means that, in the last 50 years, eight out of every ten freshwater species has been wiped out!

Could you stop for a moment to allow that figure to sink in and consider how this relates to our faith in a God who made this world to be teeming with life? {pages 38, 41}

What Action Will You Take?

  1. Pray
    1. When you turn on a tap, flush the toilet, have a shower, put on the washing machine or dishwasher – remember those who do not have easy access to clean water.
  2. Give
    1. Support organisations like Toilet Twinning and Well Boring ( that improve hygiene and access to clean water.
  3. Take Action
    1. Install rainwater butts, clean your car less, use green cleaning products. Large amounts of water are used to produce clothing such as jeans as well as sustain the animals that are used for meat. Reducing our consumption, mending and reusing our purchases is a ‘hidden way’ to use less water.

List of Questions for home groups from Chapter 2 of the Book Saying Yes To Life

  1. Look back at the names given to the River Ganges. Think about a favourite stretch of water and consider what names might help you acknowledge and pay attention to it. 
  2. In this chapter we have seen that, ‘the existence of this world and the universe which it inhabits is not by chance, but comes from God who chose to create it out of the overflowing of the love between Father, Son and Holy Spirit. All creation therefore exists in him – lives and moves and has its being in him – in the space created within the Godhead to allow is to come to being’. How does this expand your understanding of this world and its relationship to God? 
  3. We know that Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan, but do you know where the water that is used for baptism in your own home church comes from, or what processes it has gone through to get there? How might you protect your own River Jordan? 
  4. What personal action will you take to look after the world’s precious resource of water and those that depend on it? 

A prayer on water from Nigeria 

Dear Lord, it is exciting to know that you are the very source of life including water. We praise and adore you for the gift of water that sustains all life and constantly reminds us that You are the foundation of living water.
Teach us to use it thankfully, to consume it consciously, and to protect its purity.
Father, forgive us for the times we took it for granted. We confess out attitudes of greed, dominance and insensitivity towards your beautiful creation, and particularly towards water. Lord, forgive us for the times we have used water selfishly, unwisely, and without regard for how it affects others. Forgive us for the actions we have taken to harm the different sources of water around us.
Help us to see the effects of our actions not only on our immediate surroundings but also on people living in places plagued by drought. Help us to be conscious of our daily use of water; help us to be more willing to reflect on its symbolic nature and the lessons it teaches about you and your sustaining power.
Please guide is on how to protect the water bodies you made for your glory. Amen.

Prayer by Fwangmun Oscar Danladi. Oscar is a youth pastor at the ECWA Good News Church, Jos, and social activist at the Jos Green Centre, a centre for eco-entrepreneurship for young people. 

Useful Links:

To get your church engaged in caring for God’s world, join A Rocha’s Eco Church scheme. It provides a range of resources and advice.

Advocacy and campaigning:

Further Church Resources:

Useful Reports:

Painting © Jon White