For those who don’t ‘do’ Facebook, I’ll post this, as this man, Brennan Manning, has impacted my life in so many ways.
Brennan Manning, much to his delight, I’m sure, went home to meet his Dad last Friday, aged 79. ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ changed my life, as have other of his books with challenging titles – Ruthless Trust, The Furious Longing of God, The Wisdom of Tenderness – What happens when God’s fierce Mercy transforms our lives, The Importance of being foolish: how to think like Jesus….
He was a wonderful, humble, broken, powerful speaker, sadly missed by us earth-bound fools for Christ, but doubtless enjoying the party of his life – or should that be eternity? – dancing with his Dad.
Many pastors and church leaders have credited Brennan Manning with sustaining their spiritual journey through the message of the “reckless, raging fury that they call the love of God.”
Philip Yancey wrote these admiring words in the foreword to Manning’s memoir, All is Grace: “I have watched this leprechaun of an Irish-Catholic hold spellbound an audience of thousands by telling in a new and personal way the story that all of us want to hear: that the Maker of all things loves and forgives us.”
Manning says it best himself:
Here is revelation bright as the evening star: Jesus comes for sinners, for those as outcast as tax collectors and for those caught up in squalid choices and failed dreams. He comes for corporate executives, street people, superstars, farmers, hookers, addicts, IRS agents, AIDS victims, and even used car salesmen. Jesus not only talks with these people but dines with them–fully aware that His table fellowship with sinners will raise the eyebrows of religious bureaucrats who hold up the robes and insignia of their authority to justify their condemnation of the truth and their rejection of the gospel of grace.
That Gospel is for me.
That Gospel is for you.
Therein lies the scandal, and the triumph.
Rest in Peace, Mighty Man of God, and enjoy to your heart’s content for eternity, blessed by the presence of Abba, whom you loved with every fibre of your being, and who in turn, loves you with unending love.