The Ragamuffin Gospel

By Fin Sheridan

Any idea what happens in Numbers 22? You’re forgiven if you don’t know the reference immediately but it’s a story you might know. A man named Balaam has some interesting interactions with a donkey and by “interesting interactions”, I mean a full blown conversation. The donkey miraculously talks to him!! As if that wasn’t enough, in verse 29, it says that “And then Balaam said to the donkey…” as if it was the most normal thing in the world! This was Shrek before Dreamworks made it.

The point is that God uses anything to speak to us. Most of the time, that doesn’t involve talking animals but we shouldn’t rule that out. He speaks through the Word. He speaks through his Spirit. He speaks through his church. He speaks through people. And he also speaks through ‘stuff’.

There’s a wealth of Christian books, films, podcasts, music – resources upon resources that God uses to speak to us and change us into the people he would have us become. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be recommending various different ones to you, hopefully to help you in your walk with the Lord.

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

First published in 1990, ‘The Ragamuffin Gospel’ by Brennan Manning is gradually becoming a classic. A recovering alcoholic and former priest, Manning writes like a man who knows what it’s like to be forgiven and wants you to know it to. The book is one of those where you read a paragraph, pause, and then read it again because it seems what he is saying is too good to be true.

A mixture of stories, scriptures and insights, it’s not a big book but it can take a while to read it, simply because each sentence captures the soul. The way Manning describes grace is breathtaking and biblical.

I won’t spoil the book for you – I just recommend buying it immediately – but I’ll leave you with a quote that, time and time again, has shaken my world up:

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

Hungry?

Devoted

 in Lifestyle, Read

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