URC Daily Devotion 1 May 2024


Wednesday 1 May 2024 
Mayo Mpapa Naine Nka Kupapa:
Embracing Our Role in Nurturing Mother Earth


Romans 8 vs 19-21

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.


In the heart of Zambia, where the Zambezi River flows through diverse landscapes, we witness God’s intricate handiwork, but also hear the deeper groaning described by Paul. As Christians we must not only listen but respond to the cries of creation, amplified by exploitation and systemic injustices.

Creation’s groan is not silent; it is echoed in the drying rivers, the falling trees, and the silenced wildlife. It resounds in the bustling markets of Lusaka, in the mines of the Copperbelt, and in the deforested expanses of our once lush landscapes. This groaning is the result of our collective failure to heed the balance and harmony God ordained. These challenges are not mere inconveniences; they are cries for help from Mother Earth.

The Bemba saying “Mayo mpapa naine nka kupapa” which translates to “My mother, carry me today and I’ll carry you in the future,” encapsulates a profound understanding of our duty towards the planet that sustains us. It speaks to the reciprocal interconnected relationship between us and Mother Earth. This concept guides us towards active engagement with our environment, emphasising deliberate choices that regenerate and sustain our natural world – sustainable agricultural methods, reforestation efforts, and conservation initiatives. In doing so, we respond to the groans of Mother (Mayo) Earth and contribute to a legacy of health and abundance for future generations.

As we move forward, let the wisdom of “Mayo mpapa naine nka kupapa” inspire us to act intentionally and with love for our planet. Through our actions, may we honour the sacred bond between us and Mother Earth and affirm our commitment to nurturing Her with the same devotion and care she bestows upon us. This reflection is a call to action, reminding us of our responsibility to tend to the planet that nurtures us all.

Let us pray for the guidance, strength, and unity to become the people that Mother Earth needs us to be, ensuring her well-being and that of all her inhabitants. Amen.


God of justice, 
embolden us to rise against the systems 
that exploit and mar Your creation. 
Inspired by the profound wisdom of “Mayo Mpapa Naine Nka Kupapa,” 
we commit to a covenant of reciprocity with the Earth, 
promising to nurture it as it has selflessly nurtured us. 
Help us to recognize the interconnectedness of all life, 
teaching us to act not out of self-interest 
but in harmony with the greater good of Your creation. Amen




Today’s writer

The Revd Damon Mkandawire is a minister of the United Church of Zambia serving as Mission Secretary for Ecology and Economy with the Council for World Mission.



New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Copyright © 2024 United Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you have subscribed to the Daily Devotions from the United Reformed Church. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below.

Our mailing address is:

United Reformed Church

86 Tavistock Place

London, WC1H 9RT

United Kingdom

Add us to your address book