Several months ago I was reading a book and in the book there was the story of Brennan Manning. Now I’ve known Brennan Manning’s work for a while. He wrote a book call the Ragamuffin Gospel which I really enjoyed. He’s written numerous other books. He’s a Catholic priest. He left the priesthood but continued to write and speak and share his life with people. But I had never known this about Brennan Manning. He was actually born Richard Manning.
And when he was in the Marine Corp during the Korean War, he was dropped in behind enemy lines in North Korea. And there he and his group of soldiers bravely were working their way to try to establish forward position. And he and another fellow – so Richard Manning and Ray Brennan were the two guys who were sent in front of the rest of the group. And as they went forward they would look for the enemy soldiers, they would be establishing a forward position so that all of the rest of the guys could come forward. And at one point they were resting as they were preparing to come forward. And then Richard describes what happened next. He says, “We were passing a chocolate bar back and forth, Ray Brennan and myself. Ray took the last bite when a grenade lobbed by an undetected North Korean landed squarely in the center of the bunker. Ray was the first to spot it. Almost nonchalantly he flipped the candy wrapper aside and fell on the grenade. It detonated instantly. His stomach smothered the explosion. And I was completely unharmed and untouched. He looked up at me and he winked and rolled over and died.”
And Richard Manning said he came back from the war in Korea knowing that Ray Brennan gave his life so that he might live. And so he changed his first name from Richard to Brennan. So that he might never forget that the life he lived was bought with a price. And that he might live a life worthy of the sacrifice that was given to him.
How do you live in response to a love so great that someone lays down their life for you? You take their name! You are Christ-ians. And you seek to live a life that honors the sacrifice that was made for you – in worship, in praise, in daily living.
From the book "Eternal Security"