A Word from Niles: Gordon Cosby was one of my favorite teachers/preachers; he told earthy, soulful stories (much like the way I would think Jesus would tell them). Gordon brought together the good news of God’s love with the needs and callings of the world and along with his wonderful wife Mary, they co-founded the Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. I was connected to the Church of the Saviour in DC for over 7 years. What follows is a sermon of Gordon’s I was particularly smitten with. EnJoy!
Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:23). From that moment they were in the stream of inexhaustible life. One receives the Holy Spirit by surrendering the ego to Jesus, who is then discovered deep within. He who surrenders that narrow ego, who loses his life, is the one who will find it.
Creativity is a function of the inner imagination, not of the ego. The ego does not create out of itself, but gives form and expression to the creativity which comes from within. An ego out of touch with the inner world can never be creative, but only rigid, and can only mimic creativity. When the ego is willing to die (“Blessed are the poor in Spirit”), then we touch inner springs, we meet the inner Christ, and we connect with that torrent of life that we call the Holy Spirit. Jesus says, “Out of you–your inner life–will come streams of living water.”
Many people are angry–some way down deep, some not so deep. They spend a lot of energy and time trying to keep their anger within reasonable limits. Then once in a while it erupts, and often out of all proportion to the accompanying circumstances and with little reference to the poor souls that happen to be around at the moment. Of the many reasons for anger, one of the least understood and yet most important is this: the denial or blocking of creativity.
If you need to write a poem, better struggle to write it, even if you have to eat simply and live in a garret. If you need to write a book, you had better write it. If you need to create a piece of sculpture, you had better do it. If you need to build a beautiful friendship, you had better do it, even if you have to stop a lot of important things. If you need to be with your child and just love her, and let her know how important she is to you and to God–even if it keeps you from your promotion–you had better do it.
If you need to dig in a garden and plant a seed and watch a flower grow, better do it. If you need to build institutions which will create new neighborhoods where people may flourish as in a watered garden, let nothing stop you. If you need to sing a song, sing. If you need to dance, dance. Give yourself to whatever is the special area of your own creativity. And if people do not understand, then simply know that it is their problem and not yours. Know that you must do it, else you will be angry.
God is a creator. God’s being, God’s life is the source of all that is. God is constantly bringing into being that which was not, that which is new. Newness is constantly breaking forth in God, through God. The flow of energy in life continues. The flow is limitless–will never give out. Coming from the limitless depths of God’s being, the flow is infinite, inexhaustible. So you don’t have to husband your resources and dribble them out. You can be lavish and prodigal. You will be embarrassed by the new riches being poured into your life.
Don’t you know there is a limitless flow of life–a superabundance of love and caring? You simply cannot exhaust it. It may be tough learning how to touch that current, how to get into that stream, to feel the flow and power of it, to be carried by it, but one thing is sure: the stream is there. And it is limitless.
Gordon Cosby was the founding minister of The Church of the Saviour. He passed on into Ancestry on March 20, 2013. This is an excerpt from the written version of a sermon preached on November 2, 1986.