Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings have always captivated my imagination. This article helped me better understand some of the complexities that contributed to his genius and undermined his happiness. Van Gogh was the son of a Christian minister and studied theology hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps. Therefore the Christian story in general and Jesus’ life, in particular, shaped his life and art. It also, according to the article, helped him “in his struggle with the disjuncture between a world he envisioned and the one he experienced by an intuitive faith in God”. One verse in particular seems to have animated his life, which Van Gogh summarized as “in sorrow, but ever joyful” (2 Corinthians 6:10). In fact, in his first sermon Van Gogh described a painting of a Christian pilgrim walking uphill towards a city who stops along the way to ask a question of an angel about whether the road to the city was an uphill journey the entire way, to which the angel replied:
“’From morn to night, my friend.’ And the pilgrim goes on, in sorrow, yet ever joyful.”
As we explore the story of God this year it is a reminder of the One who was described as a ‘man of sorrows’ (Isaiah 53:3) who ‘for the joy set before him’ (Hebrews 12:2) endured the cross. May this story of Jesus bring comfort to you as you continue your pilgrimage this week to another week in your pilgrimage to the heavenly city (Revelation 21:2).
Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses…. sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything. – 2 Corinthians 6:4, 10
Central Park Walking Tour
Get to know other Redeemerites, in the beauty of nature, as we learn more about Central Park’s complex history, innovative design, and the creative geniuses who brought it to life. We will also walk to enjoy park highlights and fall foliage.
- Oct 17 | Faith & Work 101
- Oct 27 | Food Distribution at Frederick Douglass Houses
- Oct 30 | Neighbors Lunch for RWS congregants on 80th St to 109th St of Manhattan or Queens
- Nov 3 | HFNY’s Annual Fall Benefit Dinner