Being & Doing

Outside our front porch

It is the week before Easter here in Nairobi.  Rainy season has finally just begun; washing away the dust that has been building for months, watering recently planted crops, turning everything back to green.  It is a reminder of God’s reconciliation and redemption; nature is proclaiming God’s faithfulness.  The pouring rain is a reminder of God’s abundance.  Everyone around us has been anticipating the rains for weeks as they have been preparing their land for the harvest someday. The coming rain seems to fill up people’s hearts with relief, hope and promise.

This is also the time of year when we consider Christ’s sacrifice and celebrate his resurrection.  We focus on the story of God’s kingdom; “the harvest someday.”  Christ Jesus often taught about the Kingdom of God and even in his last 40 days before he ascended into Heaven he promised to be with us to the end (Mt. 28:20).

This Kingdom story is what we are committed to telling.  Daily we ponder how best can we share this story with those who don’t know it or don’t hear it enough. God’s story.  Telling of justice, reconciliation and restoration.  We try to find the center, where Jesus is found, in every friendship and interaction.  Not only do we celebrate the rain and a chance to grow a harvest but we also seek to be present in the midst of the dry spells for without them we would have no need to speak of hope.

We’ve been reading and studying the theology of development and considering the words “being” and “doing.”  What does it mean to “be” present and in the presence what do we “do”?

When Jesus appointed the twelve apostles (Mk 3:14-15) it says that he appointed them “so that they might be with him.”  After that he sent them out to preach, cast out demons, “doing.” The calling was first and foremost to be with Christ.  One way we are to “be” with Christ is through his body, the church.  The “be” then becomes “do” in transformational development because that is what God is doing.  He did it through the cross and he continues to do it today inviting us to join him in the process.

Easter week is an exciting time to talk about the cross and the resurrection.  It feels appropriate to bring it up now but it not only is appropriate, but necessary in the work we do since it is the very best news that we have. We get so focused on the “doing” that at times we forget about the “being.”  Thanks to grace, we keep persevering and learning.  Not once have I heard anyone here in Africa complain about the rain and just in the same way how could we ever complain about God’s redemption and abundant love?  It is wonderful to celebrate and would not make sense to despise it.  I don’t ever want to lose sight of the “be” of the gospel.

Just as we see hope in the coming rains we also speak of hope in what God is doing every day in the lives of people around us.  So we keep speaking of the hope, being Christ to people and finding ways to do as Christ did using the Power we have in God.  Easter is also the affirmation that Pentecost is here. Jesus ascended into heaven after preparing the way for the Helper, the Holy Spirit.  We now rely on the Helper to do what only God can do. Both in the being and doing we align ourselves with what only God can do.  Only God can make rain, only God can make redemption.

In being and doing, this Easter we celebrate the kingdom that is and has not yet fully come. As we celebrate the abundant rains, we celebrate the abundance of God’s grace upon all of us with what we are and what we do.  With God’s help we will continue living out and telling the kingdom story.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Beautiful true words. Leah


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