BRENNAN MANNING: BRAND NEW CREATIONS
“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand new creations. Not to make people with better morals, but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friends, is what it really means to be a Christian. Our religion never begins with what we do for God. It always starts with what God has done for us, the great and wondrous things that God dreamed of and achieve for us in Christ Jesus.”
The life-giving work of Jesus Christ on the cross and the empty tomb not only marks the climax of Lent; it is how God chose to make all who believe “brand new creations” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Manning’s description of “what it means to be a Christian” is captivating. Christ has created “a community of prophets and professional lovers.” Jesus not only fulfilled the law for us and gave us one command–to love one another–He has given us the Holy Spirit to empower our obedience!
As we consider life after Lent, may two things be true of each of us. First, may our life be the rooted in the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and second, may our generosity be aglow with the “peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love of God.”
Gary G. Hoag
To read more from Lent Companion by Gary G. Hoag, please visit https://www.gtp.org/resources/ebooks/lent-companion