Many years ago now, we chose to title this blog "Word and Deed", and I can tell you that I would have nabbed wordanddeed.blogspot.com if the domain hadn't been already occupied. (Strangely, mccropders.blogspot.com was still available.)
I think that people probably read what they want to into that title. The people who want to champion the "Word" will react with "Yeah! You gotta have Word with the Deed." Others who want to champion the "Deed" will react with "You bet! The Deed is just as important as the Word." And that's fine.
However, the point of the title is that we are committed to the ever-difficult task of holding on to both of these things as intrinsic and important at the same time. It is not Word for the sake of Deed, or Deed for the sake of Word, but rather Word AND Deed. We believe that both are essential in God's eyes.
But that doesn't mean that we always have a 50/50 split in each of our days. It varies from season to season, and some of us are more Word, and some are more Deed. Since arriving to Kibuye, I would say that Deed has been a larger part of my work.
But these last few weeks, that has been changing. I have been offered many more opportunities to speak, and I hope that we will always rise when such opportunities come. Four elements of my week:
1. This past Tuesday in Bujumbura, the Christian Medical Student Fellowship held the first annual Christian Health Care Providers Conference. It was a great time, very encouraging, and we decided to take the van down for the day, including 8 medical/nursing students and two of our Burundian docs. The morning of departure, I was asked to give some closing remarks, and so I spent the drive down working out with Alyssa what to say.
2. Thursday evening, I lead my half of the med student bible study, which takes place every Thursday night. This has been a great way to develop ideas on a more in-depth basis, and yesterday we talked about legalism in the church, which is a very a propos topic for anyone, but maybe especially for us here.
3. Friday morning, I took the plunge and spoke for the first time at hospital devotions. The bishop of our partner church here has apparently voiced an opinion that a high priority for the church here is to really learn what it means to find salvation in God's grace, and not in the good works we do. We have found nothing in our experience that suggests otherwise. Quite on the contrary. So I spoke on Philippians 3, and where we put our confidence.
4. And then, just a few hours later, I spoke for our Friday afternoon lecture. Our med school's curriculum has a curious little course, required for all students, called "Christian Philosophy of Medicine". We were asked to teach half of it (10 hours), and our subjects will include: Imitating God as a Physician, Medicine in the Kingdom of God, Vocation, Holism, Evangelism, Facing Limits, Facing Suffering, and Bioethics.
It's an exciting opportunity, because the junction of medicine in faith is an interest that runs straight down the middle of our time.
So we speak. We discuss. It is Word, and it is Deed. Pray for us, that we would speak truth and speak it in love. Pray for those who hear, that it would edify them.