The Church of the Saviour

Seized by the Power of a Great Affection

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Seized by the Power of a Great Affection: Meditations on the Divine Encounter
N. Gordon Cosby
107 Pages

About the Book

In this collection of sermon excerpts, gathered from some 65 years of preaching, we get a glimpse into the soul of Gordon Cosby and his vision for a church come alive.  Gordon challenges any who will listen to a different way of being and doing.  With remarkable insight into the nature of the Christian journey, and the nature of human community, these brief meditations evoke love and connection.  They remind us that we are on an immense journey and we do not journey alone.

About the Author

Gordon Cosby was the founding minister of The Church of the Saviour in Washington,  DC. His prophetic preaching called people of faith to take risks for God’s vision. The church continues today as a family of churches that hold in common a commitment to the spiritual life as two journeys, inward and outward, interwoven in community.

From his youth Gordon was called to a more radical expression of the gospel than traditional church structures allowed. Home from serving as a chaplain in World War II, where he had seen how unprepared young men were for life’s greatest challenges, he dedicated himself to the dream of a different kind of church. In 1946, together with his wife, Mary Campbell Cosby, and seven others, that dream began to take root, leading to the first membership commitment of The Church of the Saviour in 1947.

Gordon’s preaching challenged the Church to live more deeply rooted in the “real Jesus” who did not shy away from the social and political arenas and who showed special care for all who were oppressed. Gordon was both a dreamer and a doer, starting small churches, organizing non-profit ministries, seeking the common good—always from a posture of large leisure. Gordon lived a simple yet profound life dedicated to following Jesus in the active pursuit of God’s realm “on earth as it is in heaven.” At the time of his death in 2013, he was a member of the Church of Christ, Right Now, whose mission is to dismantle the prison system and build community with returning residents.

Excerpt From the Book
Becoming Whole

It is a pity for life to be predominantly struggle and survival when it is designed to be love, joy, peace, excitement, wonder and triumph. All of us long to move toward that for which we are designed, but one of our serious problems is a lack of integrity.

By integrity I mean a correspondence between the truth of the faith to which we declare allegiance and the deeper living out of that truth in our lives, in the daily routines of our lives. The inner division of not living what we say we believe wracks us unmercifully.

With one genius part of us we believe the loftiest things. With other dimensions we almost totally disbelieve. These selves war within us. One thing is clear: the anxiety will remain with us until we determine which self is the deepest self around which all the other “many selves” ultimately become integrated.

Are there ways to effect this integration and thus become people of greater integrity? Can we become whole rather than fragmented? In biblical language, can we be saved? Jesus came for the express purpose of seeking and saving all that was broken, fragmented, lost. But the history of the human race is one of rebellion against the sovereign Creator God and inability to live the life for which we were intended.

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