True disciples, nature and leiturgia: Preservation of the earth

Phemelo Olifile Marumo, Sarel Van der Merwe


God created man in his image (imago Dei) and to be a disciple of God.  Being a disciple man must look after, use and care for the earth as part of his leiturgia.  It is a clear indication that God speaks to us through nature and as such we must heed the call of creation in our worship services.  The Fall, however, resulted in a disregard for worshipping God, living with him and taking care of the earth.  Instead, the earth has been subject to exploitation ever since.  This exploitation is in sharp contrast to Matthew 28:20; where Jesus instructed the disciples to go and teach the nations to observe all his commands, whatever they may be, one of which was to “care for and subdue” the earth.


Global warming is gradually ravaging the environment and has affected how we pray.  Much has been said by religious bodies, governments as well as organisations advocating the preservation of the environment, to no avail.  Leiturgia and discipleship have been replaced by conferences and seminars on the environment.  Nature is at the centre of debate, but nothing ever comes of it and true discipleship has been pushed aside as though it never existed.  The earth is facing imminent destruction.


This paper addresses the above by firstly highlighting the historical background of discipleship as core of the mission to preserve the earth, then presents the action taken at present to attend to the earth’s destruction.  Thirdly the paper demonstrates how leiturgia and nature could serve to remind all to care for the earth.  Part of true discipleship is glorifying God in accordance to the missio Dei.


disciples; leiturgia; creation; missio Dei; earth.

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