Reflections on Brennan Manning: A Teacher of God’s Love and Grace

Today 4/13/2013 news that Brennan Manning left this life on 4/12/2013. He was a man of God, a disciple who now has moved on. Yet, he was a teacher of much controversy. The top of the controversy was that he taught “contemplative prayer” with use of things like emptying thoughts and repeating words. This controversy exists and is out there, yet, I have no question that in He was a true follower of Jesus the Messiah. His teaching and from what I understand even his life was fractured and flawed. He knew fully what it was to experience God’s grace. Yet, he is really know different than any other disciple of Jesus. He tought things wrong, he did things wrong, he was flawed. Yet, he knew what it was to be loved by God. He was a teacher and preacher of God’s love. His messages focused on deepening the understanding of God and His love. This is true for me.
I heard Brennan Manning speak at Church of the Open Door in Minnesota two or maybe three times. When he spoke his words and presence displayed and shown the love of God. His words touched to the very core. I do not remember his words or his teaching at that time. I do know what he taught and spoke of on those days changed me. He gave words that brought closer awareness to the love of God. He taught in such a way that got beyond the fractured images I had of God the Father and God used to touch hurt and pain and let God’s love in. God used this man. And for that I am grateful. He served and was used by God and he touch my life and many others. There are a great many quotes out there that demonstrate the truth he taught. It is important to note in God’s economy the words of Love and truth have far greater impact than the things we speak that are flawed, dangerous, or destructive. Truth and love always have greater effect. In closing this article I am posting some Brennan Manning quotes that demonstrate the Truth and Love that he taught that impacted so many.

“Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion.”

“In every encounter we either give life or we drain it; there is no neutral exchange.”

“God is love. In human beings, love is a quality, a high-prized virtue; in God, love is His identity.“

“God loves you unconditionally, as you are and not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be.”

“My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ, & I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.”

“Christianity was not some moral code; it was a love affair, & I experienced it first hand.”

“If we conceal our wounds out of fear & shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”

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Resurrection Sunday Musing: Suffering defeated!

      Today was Resurrection Sunday, the last day of Passion Week and the day we celebrate Jesus not remaining dead, but rising again, making it so that all may be free.  It is the day we set aside to folks on the Resurrection and Jesus making grace available to all.  He, one who was without sin, became sin for us.

     On the day he was crucified, even his closest followers were filled with doubt.   How could Jesus the Messiah die and suffer?  All were looking toward the toppling of evil and the establishing of the Kingdom of God, not realizing that the Kingdom of God is not about politics, not about dominion, not about power.  It was about the shedding of the innocent blood of the Lamb of God to open a way that all may be saved. 

    Today, many cannot see the truth of the sacrifice and resurrection.  They are filled with scorn and mockery for the do not grasp or understand the need for the cross. People are blinded to their own evil and wickedness, for many people do many good things.  However, any good deed falls short, for there is not one person who does not falter. 

    Many that mock and scorn the idea of Jesus as Messiah point to the suffering, the hurt, the pain, and the ill in the world.  How could a truly good and loving God allow all the pain, hurt, suffering, illness, poverty, war, tragedy, catastrophe, and all other aspects of life humanity views as bad is the frequent cry.  They expect a good and loving God would simply wipe away all suffering immediately, with one stroke.  They do not understand that God did just that at the cross. Sure pain and suffering are still ever presence.  Evil done from one man to another is constant.   No way could God have dealt with it all in one quick action. 

     Yet, in one three day span, all that was against God was defeated. The true victory won.  Now, pain and suffering still engulf the earth, but the days are numbered and growing ever shorter.  The reason for this is that the Lamb of God who was slain did not remain in the grave.  He conquered death and sin and provided away that all who accept may be redeemed.  God dealt with pain and suffering his way, in a way that demonstrates perfect love and provides an eventual end to suffering for all who accept the gift of Grace offered.  

The resurrection is the most significant day in humanity.  It is a day that I am most grateful for, because without the Cross and Resurrection I would be lost, with no hope, and no peace.   Yet, now I am truly at peace regardless of whatever is going on, even when I don’t feel at peace.  I know that all suffering is but temporary and the victory has already won.  And for this, I proclaim Hallelujah! Blessed be the Lamb of God who took my sin, so that I may be free.