Present the Old Testament
In this short passage, Isaiah refers twice to ‘rivers in the desert’ (in the NRSV, the second is translated ‘water in the wilderness’ but it is the same word in the Hebrew text).
Nothing is more important than water to a people who had spent 40 years in the desert! The idea of God supplying freely flowing rivers is the equivalent of reaching the promised land – or heaven. To put this universal and timeless basic human need into context, before or after the reading, show a film clip or display some images from Oxfam Pioneers of projects that seek to provide water in the desert places of humanity: