Intro to this issue:
The renewing work of the Holy Spirit is an ongoing part of being a pilgrim people of God on the earth. The Holy Spirit brings renewal to revive, strengthen, and equip God’s people for mission and the advancing of his kingdom.
When Jesus began his ministry, he announced the imminent coming of God’s kingdom. And he commissioned his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And he promised them signs and wonders to accompany the Gospel message. Through his death, resurrection, and ascension, he poured out upon his disciples the promised Holy Spirit.
We live in an age of unprecedented challenge and turmoil marked by wholesale apostasy and rejection of God’s word of revelation and truth in many parts of the world. Part of God’s response to these extraordinary challenges, is an extraordinary outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which began with the Pentecostal movement at the turn of the 20th century, and the charismatic renewal movements which began to spread throughout the churches in the second half of the 20thcentury.
God continues to pour out his Spirit abundantly today. We need the power and the charismatic gifts of the Spirit to carry out the work the Lord has entrusted to us. Extraordinary times need extraordinary measures. What may have worked well in past ages is not enough to meet today’s challenges. That is why we need to follow the Lord’s lead in giving us his guidance, wisdom, and the charismatic gifts and power of the Holy Spirit. These are not optional but essential for us today.
This issues focuses on the spiritual gifts and work of the Holy Spirit who offers us abundant life and power to live and serve together as a community of disciples on mission.
Sincerely in Christ,
Don Schwager is the editor of Living Bulwark and author of the Daily Scripture Reading and Meditation website. He is a lay religious brother and life-time member of the Servants of the Word.