Sunday, March 1, 2020

Exodus 17 and John 4: Looking for a Big Nose

Everyone needs drinking water. Whether you are wandering through the wilderness (Exodus 17:1-7) or through the Samaritan countryside (John 4:5-42), you are going to need water. So you are always looking for a well or a river or some other way to stay hydrated. Clean, drinkable water means survival. No survival.

In Rome, Italy, you won't need to look hard for clean, drinkable water. Around Rome are more than 2,500 public drinking fountains called nasoni (literally "big noses"). The fountains were first placed in the early 1870s. The nasoni are made of cast iron and deliver fresh, cold water that travels through 70 miles of channels from the Peschiera reservoir to and through the city of Rome. The water is free for everyone - fill your water bottle or drink from the fountain (you can plug the spout and the water will come out a small hole in the top like a drinking fountain). The column-shaped fountain like you see here is a mass-produced design from the 1930s. There were originally a number of sculptural spouts, including the she-wolf who represents Rome's beginnings, though many of those are no longer extant.

In the two texts for Lent 3A, one story tells of finding no water, the other tells of finding not only drinking water but eternal water. The nasoni would have solved part of the water issues facing the people of Exodus and John. There would have been no need to strike a rock. No need to pull up a bucket from a well. There's still only one source for that living water, though.

If you are headed to Rome, try the apps I Nasoni di Roma (Apple Store) or Fountains in Italy (Google Play) for a guide to nasoni locations.

For additional thoughts on Exodus 17, click here.
For additional thoughts on John 4, click here.

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