The Common Good

Five Spiritual Resolutions For 2014: What Elders, Suffering, And Loss Have Taught Me About The Gospel

Date: January 3, 2014

This past year taught me so much about the gospel and caused me to go deeper into my faith. As this new year begins, here are five spiritual resolutions I learned from last year:

1. Return to the gospel. Gordon Cosby, the founder and pastor of The Church of the Saviour in Washington, D.C. passed away in early 2013. He was a mentor, elder, and spiritual director to me. I miss Gordon greatly and often have things I would like to talk with him about. But I usually know what he would say to me and it would always be about returning to the gospel. In his last sermon, spoken from his death bed, he spoke of Jesus' "clear and frightening statement that the last shall be first and the first shall be last." In every place I go this year, I want to remember that. Gordon said, "The warning of Jesus is being ignored. The warning is against what is the dominant consciousness now. What constitutes a good life, a successful life in our culture is exactly the opposite of that to which Jesus calls us. If one is successful in the world's sense then the very things we boast about are signs of our failure." Success for Christians is always returning to the gospel that turns the world upside down.