15 April 2015
During this year's Pentecost Prayers our church family, as requested by the DRC Eastern Synod and several synodical task teams for ecology, reflects together on the truth that God created us wonderfully, and in union with the rest of creation. We also reflect on our vocation to care for the earth that has been entrusted to us and to preserve it, in the likeness of our Creator.
While many of us have become sensitive to the great challenges we face today in general with respect to ecology, the question is how the Lord expects that we should deal with creation, more particularly with the earth and with our fellow creatures.
- To whom does creation and the earth actually belong? What is our place in it as humans? And if the creation is not ours, but God's, how should we think about it and how do we work with it? What attitude does the Lord require of his children who wish to live a sanctified life towards the work of his hands?
In this series, we ponder important aspects and we ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, and to give us loving hearts and warm hands, in our dealings with creation and the earth.
- Wherever you can, come together as leaders from the DRC family and reflect on the series in the light of Isaiah's words: "Don't you know? Haven't you heard? The Lord is the everlasting God; He created all the world (Isaiah 40:28).
- The series emphasizes that the earth belongs to the Lord. Because many of our congregations have 10 prayer meetings as well as Pentecost Feast, we reflect on eleven successive sub themes:
(1) The heavens proclaim our Lord's glory (Ps 19: 2- 7, 15; Rev 4:11; 10: 6);
(2) and the earth is our and our Lord's dwelling place (Gen 1: 26-28, 31; John 1: 1- 5, 14);
(3) over which he reigns as the Reconciler (Col 1: 15-20).
(4) His Spirit reigns in us and gives us insight (Rom 8: 9-11; Ps 8);
(5) to see the earth and give thanks to the Creator (Job 38; 39);
(6) to hear his creation's groans (Rom 8:19-22);
(7) to respect the earth's integrity (Isaiah 45: 1a, 5-8);
(8) and to care for it (Gen 2: 4-15);
(9) to be generous and serving towards our fellow creatures (2 Cor 9: 10-15);
(10) sacrificing and sharing, living in simplicity and frugal (Acts 2: 43-47; 4: 32-37; 2 Cor 8:10-15).
(11) because we confess, "The earth is the Lord's" (Psalm 24: 1-10), and we honour his reign with the whole of creation (Rev 5: 8-14)
- We greatly appreciate all our co-workers who helped to make these reflections available to the church. They are Anton Doyer, Sipho Makoena and Thinus Prinsloo, Gustav Claasen and Victor Pillay, Lourens Schoeman and Dingane Mosili, Carl Lourens and Jimmy Frans, Carl Swart and Rachel Mash, Arnold van der Westhuizen and Sydney Saayman, Schalk van Wyk and Mizelle Prinsloo, David Kuyler and Andries Hofmann, Hendrik Groenewald and Attie du Plessis.
David Botha and Juanita Greyvenstein composed a liturgy for repetitive use.
- We trust that the Holy Spirit will use this year's series to fine tune us with each other, to impose on us the thoughts of our Lord's own heart and to transform us to be useful in the care of all that He had created for his own and for our joy, with great love and care.
May Pentecost in your congregation have blessed consequences and give joy to creation and our Creator.
Eddie Orsmond, Donald Gantana, Gideon van der Watt and Johan Botha (on behalf of the United Ministry for Service and Witness)