On The Passing Of Brennan Manning

I woke to the sad news: Brennan Manning died, Friday, April 12, 2013. The blogosphere and social networks have been abloom with kind words and remembrances. Brennan Manning showed me the amazing awesome love and grace of God found in Christ Jesus. Through his books, Manning taught me what the Christian life is all about.

I read The Ragamuffin Gospel several years and have reread over the years. I picked it up this morning and read the opening chapter before hearing the sad news of his passing. Before Brennan, I thought grace was something you said before you eat pious words to appease God not God’s free love and forgiveness lavished indiscriminately on all. I didn’t want to admit my inadequacies and failures for fear of being found out, but Manning showed me that I was caught already in the loving embrace of God. God knows all about my darkness and loves me anyway. God meets me where I am and leads me to where I should be. God still has a lot of work to do in me, but I trust Gods grace will complete me.

“The gospel of grace calls us to sing of the everyday mystery of intimacy with God instead of always seeking for miracles or visions. It calls us to sing of the spirit roots of such commonplace experience as falling in love, telling the truth, raising a child, teaching a class, forgiving each other, standing together in the bad weather of life, of surprise and sexuality, and the radiance of existence. Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven, and of such homely mysteries is genuine religion made of. Grace abounds and walks around the edge of our everyday experience.” (Brennan Manning)

Writer Robert Benson said it better than I ever could. “I learned the truth of the gospel from Brennan, the same gospel you will find in this book: That in the end, my sin will never outweigh God’s love. That the Prodigal can never outrun the Father. That I am not measured by the good I do but by the grace I accept. That being lost is a prerequisite to being found. That living a life of faith is not lived in the light, it is discovered in the dark. That not being a saint here on earth will not necessarily keep you from being in that number when the march begins.”  

As sad as it is to lose such an amazing writer, speaker, and brother in Christ I don’t think Brennan would want us all weepy. He would want us to celebrate his life and our Savior. A better way to speak of than saying Brennan Manning died or passed is to say that he is now fully embraced by Abba. Brennan found himself on dusty road and still far off Abba ran and embraced him. Now, there is party going on.


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