taking the words of Jesus seriously

Wednesday, I woke up on the first day of Spring to the news that our brother Gordon Cosby died.

Here’s the message from the community there in DC:

It is with great joy, as well as sadness, that we convey to you the word that at 4:15 this morning–on the first day of spring–our beloved brother in Christ, Gordon Cosby, quietly slipped into the fullness of God’s Realm. Mary was sleeping beside him and continues to be a pillar of spiritual strength.


Our hearts are full.


This evening those of us who are able and wish to do so are welcome to drop by the Potter’s House–just to share love with each other and to thank God for giving us such a one as Gordon. An informal time of sharing will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The actual memorial service will be held on Saturday, April 6, at 10:30 a.m. at Foundry United Methodist Church at the corner of 16th St. and P St. NW in Washington, DC.

During the era of mega-church growth, Gordon and Church of the Saviour were pioneering the micro-church.  Rather than trying to grow bigger and bigger they were trying to grow smaller and smaller, committed to living the Gospel out of homes, dinner tables and living rooms, building subversive friendships for the upside-down Kingdom of God.  A few years ago, I got to spend some time with Gordon and his community in DC.

Gordon asked me to share some of the big questions we were wrestling with.  I answered by rattling off a list of unresolved issues — race and “privilege”, power, balance and integration, authenticity vs. impact… lots of big questions.  Expecting him to offer some wisdom and advice, like a good guru, he just sat there, with the most wonderful smile and said, “Those are great questions… let me know when you figure them out.”

Gordon had big dreams, but he lived small.   He didn’t write lots of books or want his name to be known – but he is a secret legend, and he will go down in history as one of Christ’s humble heroes… a grandfather to the movement that refuses to separate Jesus and justice.  Gordon Cosby’s life is one of those handkerchiefs that God has dropped on the earth to remind us what heaven smells like.  He will be missed, but the ripples from his life and community will continue – and we trust that as we let him go, the saints on the other side are welcoming him home.

Here’s a great tribute to his life written by my good friend and editor of CONSPIRE, Dee Dee Risher

And another by Jim Wallis of Sojourners

Shane Claiborne is a prominent author, speaker, activist, and founding member of the Simple Way.  He is one of the compilers of Common Prayer, a new resource to unite people in prayer and action. Shane is also helping develop a network called Friends Without Borders which creates opportunities for folks to come together and work together for justice from around the world. His most recent book is Red Letter Revolution, which he co-authored with Tony Campolo.

Photo provided by Shane Claiborne

About The Author


Shane Claiborne is a best-selling author, renowned activist,
 sought-after speaker, and self-proclaimed “recovering sinner.” Shane writes and speaks around the world about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus, and is the author of several books, 
including "The Irresistible Revolution," "Jesus for President," "Executing Grace," "Beating Guns," and his newest book, "Rethinking Life (released in Feb 2023)." He is the visionary leader of The Simple Way in Philadelphia and co-director of Red Letter Christians. His work has been featured in Fox News, Esquire, SPIN, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and CNN.

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