Seeing More: Social Justice and Charismatic Streams
Dear Kaleid Women:
Do you wrestle with laying hold of hope in hard places? Real hope – the kind that gives you ballast to weather the storm? Do you ever wish that your faith in Christ was more connected to the fabric of your life – that you could trust it to take you into the unknown and carry while you are there?
It’s no secret that life is hard. That reality leads us to live our lives close to the shore. We stick with what we know. We tell mystery it will have to wait for another day. However, when we hold ourselves close to the proverbial shoreline of life, we miss the adventure of what lies beyond the horizon, right? Even in our faith walk.
Jesus’ call to His disciples was simple: “Follow Me.” Like we said last week, the followership of Jesus has given rise to many different expressions of the Christian faith over the centuries as men and women have leaned into His call, sought His path, and gone behind Him into the unknown.
On February 2, Sharol Hayner will join us to share how the various practices and personalities associated with the six streams of Christian tradition (taken from Richard Foster’s book Streams of Living Water) can help us to become more faithful followers of Jesus.
The two traditions that we are touching on in this email are “beyond the horizon” for many of us who have nurtured our faith in southern evangelical spaces. We are excited about what it might mean for all of us to understand them and to incorporate them more deeply.
The Charismatic Stream: A life immersed in, empowered by, and under the direction of the Spirit of God
This tradition teaches that following Jesus involves receiving the Holy Spirit as Advocate, Helper, Strengthener, and Comforter and as the Giver of spiritual gifts. Jesus operated out of the Spirit’s gifts of wisdom, discernment, healing, power over nature, and power over the demonic after the He descended on Him like a dove at Jesus’ baptism. That same Spirit and those same gifts are what Jesus alludes to when He says, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37). The charismatic tradition leads us into places of openness to the Spirit’s work in our lives and in the world through us.
Notable Figures: Aimee Semple McPherson, Kathryn Kuhlman, George Fox, Joan of Arc, Francis of Assisi
“The Holy Spirit is the greatest promoter who ever lived, and he promotes just one person: Jesus Christ.” – Kathryn Kuhlman
The Social Justice Stream: A life committed to compassion and justice for all people
This tradition teaches that following Jesus includes tending to the work He spoke of when He opened His ministry. “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free.” (Luke 4:18-19) Jesus concerned Himself with caring for His contemporaries who were crushed and broken by social and economic structures. Foster calls the social justice tradition the “Jubilee life” and shows us that following Jesus means following Him into the way of His kingdom: justice and shalom. We are to be people who see the kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.
Notable Figures: Mother Teresa, Harriet Tubman, David Livingstone, William Wilberforce
As we consider what lies beyond the horizon as we follow Jesus, do we dare to invite the Holy Spirit to pour out His rivers of living water? Do we dare befriend someone whose life has been marked by injustice?
Imagine the beautiful landscape of the journey He’s inviting us into!