Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rest In Joy, Brennan Manning

Brennan Manning passed away yesterday. I already miss him.

For many, the homecoming to heaven is going to be a shock. Most of us are just not acclimated to grace. Think of it like this - a person who grew up in the desert southwest leaves to visit his friend in Atlanta. In August. It's a small connecting flight, one of those where you walk down steps from the plane. The door to the plane opens, and he walks down the stairs into the humidity that is the South in summer. He feels like he's been immersed. His friend greets him warmly - "Welcome to the South!" The traveler is amazed. His friend looks so cool and unmarred by the grip of moisture.

Because he lives there.

Brennan Manning lived in the grip of grace.

Now he's home. I expect he's very comfortable there.

There are so many quotes from his work I could share.

“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last 'trick', whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.

'But how?' we ask.

Then the voice says, 'They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.'

There they are. There *we* are - the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life's tribulations, but through it all clung to faith. 

My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” 
― Brennan ManningThe Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Do you understand it?

What about this?

“The story goes that a public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church. He took his woes to God. 'They won't let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.'

'What are you complaining about?' said God. 'They won't let Me in either.” 
― Brennan ManningThe Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out

Friends, I have absolutely NO use for any church that is not open to sinners reeking of sin. If we won't open to people in need of grace, then we should not be open as a "church" at all.

 - David - a sinner, saved by grace

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