Saturday, March 26, 2011

colour my feelings: how the feelings of Jesus shape the mission of God

Updated: This post continues to grow. The relationship between feelings, colour and the mission of God are being developed further at a talk I am giving, May 13, Friday evening, at Grow and Go 2011.

What colour is

  • sorrow?
  • crying?
  • radical love?
  • anger?
  • compassion?

According to Matthew Elliott

“The theologies of the New Testament, as we have seen, do not do a good job in incorporating emotion into their framework. As it is in secular ethics, in New Testament ethics and theology emotion is often belittled, trivialized or ignored.” (Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament 256).

According to adolescent psychologists, Haviland-Jones, Gebelt and Stapley

“We usually think of learning how not to be emotional rather than whether or not emotions are being refined and transformed to mature forms.”

In the last month my home town of Christchurch has been trashed by an earthquake, while Japan has gone radioactive and Libya has become a warzone. In response, I’ve been reading the Gospels, looking for the feelings of Jesus, wondering what I might learn from God who experienced sorrow, crying, radical love, anger, compassion.

And I’ve become more and more intrigued by how the feelings of Jesus shaped his mission, and the implications for how the 21st century church needs to feel, think and act.

Faithful feelings: how the feelings of Jesus shape the mission of God.

Which I will be preaching on tomorrow, Sunday March 27, 6 pm at Adelaide West Uniting. And exploring in more depth a keynote address at Grow and Go weekend, May 13-15, at Uniting College.

Hence my question, what colour is

  • sorrow?
  • crying?
  • radical love?
  • anger?
  • compassion?
Posted by steve at 05:23 PM


  1. I read once somewhere that Passion is described as the fusion of Anger and Love, and Jesus was definitely passionate about the work that He was sent to do. Obviously other emotions were manifest in and from Jesus, but indeed it is intriguing as to how His mission was shaped (perhaps guided?) by these feelings. Anger at one place, compassion at another, still sorrow elsewhere…I’m sure we could add countless many to the list.

    However, as to a colour for your question(s)…I’d almost go for a synergistic kaleidoscope! Jesus – the ultimate blend of these colours.

    Comment by Ryan — March 26, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  2. thanks ryan. makes me think of those kaleidscopes that changed colour as you rotate them?


    Comment by steve — March 28, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

  3. sorrow – dark blue to indigo, crying – light blue to turquoise, radical love – crimson, anger – orange-red and black, compassion – warm blue to violet (????????

    Comment by Ingrid — March 28, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

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