2018 JJ Thiessen Lecture #3 - Discipling Emotion, Singing at the Table, and Mutual Accountability
Violence, Injustice, Trauma, and the Ordinary Practices of Christian Worship in a Social Media Age, a 3-part lecture series with Dr. John Witvliet
Public worship is so much more than an exercise in thinking. It is also about the gestures, postures, and profound emotions that emerge from our covenantal engagement with the triune God. As we face the world's tragedies, how might Christian public worship be a school of discipleship not merely for how we think about them, but also for how we feel about and in them? How might worship purify and sanctify our emotions? Drawing on several generations of theological testimony about African-American spirituals, this lecture will explore what "godly sorrow," "righteous anger," and "cruciform hope" have sounded like across a range of Christian worship music, and then explore how we might deepen our own practices of singing together at the Lord's Table. We'll conclude with reflections on how all of these forms of transfigured engagement with violence, injustice, and trauma require collaboration in Christian community. We need each other—pastors, musicians, and artists; Mennonite, Reformed, and Catholic communities; missiologists, pastoral care givers, and theologians—not so that we will arrive at a neat and tidy formula for our typical Sunday morning services, but rather to cultivate a cruciform imagination out of which those services will be shaped and experienced, and a mutual commitment to serve together as ministers of God's peace.