That’s me

30 Mar

On my retreat day last week I popped into my favourite second hand book shop and picked up a couple of books. One was a book I’ve heard many people rave aout over the past few years called ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ by Brennan Manning. I haven’t started it yet but did read the forward by the author, it says

The Ragamuffin Gospel was written with a specific reading audience in mind. This book is not for the super-spiritual. It is not for the muscular Christians who have made John Wayne and not Jesus their hero. It is not for academicians who would imprison Jesus in the ivory tower of exegensis. It is not for noisy, feel-good folks who manipulate Christianity into naked appeal to emotion. It is not for hooded mystics who want magic in their religion. It is not for Alleluia Christians who live only on the mountaintop and have never visited the valley of desolation. It is not for the fearless and tearless. It is not for red-hot zealots who boast with the rich young ruler of the gospels: “All these commandments I have kept from my youth.” It is not for the complacent, hoisting over their shoulder a tote-bag of honours, diplomas, and good works actually believing they have made it. It is not for the legalists who would rather surrender control of their souls to rules than run the risk of living in union with Jesus.

If anyone is still reading along, The Ragamuffin Gospel was written for the bedraggled, beat-up, and burnt-out. It is for the sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other. It is for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it altogether and are too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace. It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker. It is for poor, weak, sinful men and women with hereditary faults and limited talents. It is for earthen vessels who shuffle along on feet of clay. It is for the bent and the bruised who feel that their lives are a grave disappointment to God. It is for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags. The Ragamuffin Gospel is a book I wrote for myself and anyone who has grown weary and discouraged along the Way.

Brennan Manning

As I read I found myself shouting inside ‘That’s me’ this book is for me. And I also believe these are the people and lives Jesus is looking to become a part of.

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