Psalms, Feelings & Vulnerability – Even For Pastors

In Chapter 6 “Bring It All To God: Anger and Vulnerability In Worship” of Grieving Hearts in Worship, I discuss the importance of feelings.  Here is a little preview:

“As stated earlier, It is important to bring our feelings to God in the context of worship.  The liturgy, songs, and other rituals allow for meaningful expression of these feelings.  Being aware of, and expressing, feelings in worship is not limited to the people sitting in the pews.  It is equally important for the worship leaders and the pastor in particular.  Pastors serve as role models of how to worship, of how to be authentic with God, wit hone another and with oneself.  When the pastor is willing to be vulnerable from the pulpit, it opens the door for the congregation to begin taking risks of vulnerability with one another and with God. God invites and encourages us to be vulnerable in worship.  “A Broken and Contrite heart O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51)

A broken and contrite heart is just one of many ways feelings can be expressed in worship.  We must remember that the written expressions of emotions found in scripture, are not simply intellectual concepts, but the expressions of actual experiences.  The Psalms are expressions of feelings in the moment, as well as a collective remembering of past experiences.  The Psalms provide a wonderful model for us to follow today when writing liturgy as well as sermons.  The Psalms invite us to be honest and vulnerable before God and in the community of faith within the context of worship.” (p 148)

What makes it possible for you to be vulnerable in worship?  What hinders you from being vulnerable in worship?

Holding you in the light of God’s love,

Michael