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Today we are back to sharing a short prayer or poem that has been written for us. This morning, I offer you a reflection by Brennan Manning. Brennan once described himself this way. “I’ve been a drunk and I’ve been divorced. I’ve been sexually promiscuous, faithful during my marriage but unfaithful due to celibacy, a liar, envious of the gifts of others, a priest who was insufferably arrogant, a people-pleaser and a braggart (which I’m probably doing right now to give you the impression that I’m humble and honest)... By sheer undeserved grace, I’ve been able to abandon myself in unshaken trust to the compassion and mercy of Jesus Christ.”

Through to his last days, Brennan was a seeming contradiction in the public Christian world. He relapsed into heavy drinking perhaps more than he was sober and yet he passionately declared the light of God’s grace and love perhaps more than any other author and speaker of his time. Because of his struggles and because of his emphasis on God’s grace, many in the church world decry him. And because of his vulnerability and because of his emphasis on God’s grace, many have been pointed deeper into the love of God by him. Today, I will share a brief offering from his book Dear Abba: Morning and Evening Prayer, published as an ebook by Bondfire Books. This is the morning prayer from the second day in the book. It includes a short scripture passage, a short reflection from one of Brennan’s other books, and then a prayer for your day. I hope it is helpful for you as a part of the Covenant Weekly for April 2, 2024.

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in  the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’”
-Matthew 18:1-3

For the disciple of Jesus, being like a child means accepting oneself as being of little account, unimportant. This understanding of ourselves changes not only the way we view our worth, but also the way we view God’s saving grace. If a little Jewish child received a ten-cent allowance from her father at the end of the week, she did not regard it as payment for sweeping the house, doing the dishes, and baking the bread. It was a wholly unmerited gift, a gesture of her father’s absolute liberality.
-The Importance of Being Foolish

Dear Abba,  Your liberal gift of grace stands in stark contrast to this world’s economy of work and wage. It’s much more than the difference between black and white; it’s like the difference between apples and engine blocks. I want to start this day with an awareness of Your absolute liberality. As the day rolls on and I regrettably slip back into trying to earn Your favour, forgive me I pray, and gently remind me that I am the child and You are the Father, and it is Your kingdom I desire, not mine.

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