Wednesday, 30 September 2009

"The Ragamuffin Gospel"

Members of the Book Club at Saint Nicholas' are busy reading this Brennan Manning text for our October meeting.
"Inspired" is how one reviewer describes it. A book about how much God loves us - 'warts and all'. Even if we are "ragamuffins" God's love for us, and acceptance of us, are presented with clarity.
The author tells us that the book is not for the super-spiritual or the people who have their lives all sorted out. It is for the "sorely burdened who are still shifting the heavy suitcase from one hand to the other... the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don't have it altogether... the inconsistent, unsteady disciples... the poor weak, sinful men and women.. for smart people who know they are stupid and honest disciples who admit they are scalawags..."
Brennan Manning uses many short illustrations and memorable stories to engage the reader and each chapter has something significant to say about a person's journey of faith. Towards the end he tells us, "The ragamuffin church is a place of promise and possibility, of adventure and discovery, a community of compassion on the move, strangers and exiles in a foreign land en route to the heavenly Jerusalem... ...The worshipping ragamuffin will not be mummified in middle age by living in the past and refusing to attend to the present. Creativity and flexibility will not give way to repetition and rigidity..."
It is a book to buy, to read, to give away...and then to find another copy and read it again! Eugene Peterson writes, 'This is a zestful and accurate portrayal that tells us unmistakably that the gospel is good, dazzlingly good.'

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