Ragamuffin GospelOne of my favorite books is The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out by Brennan Manning.

It’s a book that encourages Christians who are frustrated by their Christian growth, and what’s encouraging about it is that Brennan tells us the truth—that God does not give up on His creation or His creatures. He pursues us with a relentless unconditional love! And when we truly embrace that fact, we will then know the joy of the Gospel – and truly love the most needy of His flock—the “ragamuffins.”

This book is on my mind again today because Brennan Manning passed away a week ago. So I’ve been reflecting on the man and his life. A Korean War vet, turned Franciscan priest, Brennan lost all his possessions in Hurricane Katrina then moved to New York, only to suffer loss once again in Hurricane Sandy.

When we both lived in New Orleans, I had the delight to know him personally. He was as passionate as his writing style. I loved to listen to him talk, and in fact, one day while I was driving along on a road trip, he and I were on the phone together. I became so enthralled by what he was saying that I forgot that we were having a conversation and I was not listening to one of his tapes!

I’d like to leave you with this. Brennan was a broken man. I mean that in a good way. When we come to Jesus Christ, just as we are (a “ragamuffin”), we’ll find the passionate love of a gentle Savior Who also happens to be King of all creation. I urge you to reflect on that, and to reflect on someone who was important in your life.

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