A Responsive Reading using the Breadth of Emotions Conveyed in the Psalms

A Responsive Reading using the Breadth of Emotions Conveyed in the Psalms

Pastor’s Introduction:

Psalms are songs or poems. That’s what the word “psalm” means. They are meant to be read or sung as poetry or songs. The point is that poetry or singing is intended to stir up and carry the affections of the heart.

If you read the Psalms only for doctrine, you’re not reading them for what they are. They’re musical, and the reason human beings express truth with music and poetry is to awaken and express emotions that fit the truth.

One of the reasons the Psalms are deeply loved by so many Christians is that they give expression to an amazing array of emotions. More explicitly than all the other books in the Bible, the Psalms are designed to awaken and shape our emotions in line with the instruction they give. What happens when you read and sing the Psalms the way they are intended to be read and sung is that your emotions and your mind are shaped by these psalms. We will now read responsively (as noted) the breadth of expressions contained in the Psalms; starting with anguish and wailing and ending with gratitude and peace.

Pastor: “Anguish” as expressed in Psalm 6:3
Congregation: My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?Pastor: “Wailing” as expressed in Psalm 30:11
Congregation: You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
Pastor: “Grief” as expressed in Psalm 6:7
Congregation: My eye wastes away because of grief
Pastor: “Anger” as expressed in Psalm 4:4
Congregation: Be angry, and do not sin
Pastor: “Groaning” as expressed in Psalm 6:6
Congregation: I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.
Pastor: “Pain” as expressed in Psalm 69:29
Congregation: I am afflicted and in pain
Pastor: “Sorrow” as expressed in Psalm 31:9
Congregation: Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
Pastor: “Brokenheartedness” as expressed in Psalm 34:18
Congregation: The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit
Pastor: “Loneliness” as expressed in Psalm 25:16
Congregation: I am lonely and afflicted
Pastor: “Distress” as expressed in Psalm 18:6
Congregation: In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.
Pastor: “Fear” as expressed in Psalm 2:11
Congregation: Serve the Lord with fear
Pastor: “Discouragement and turmoil” as expressed in Psalm 42:5
Congregation: Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Pastor: “Shame” as expressed in Psalm 44:15
Congregation: Shame has covered my face
Pastor: “Regret” as expressed in Psalm 38:18
Congregation: I am sorry for my sin
Pastor: “Contrition” as expressed in Psalm 51:17
Congregation: A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise
Pastor: “Desire” as expressed in Psalm 10:17
Congregation: O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted
Pastor: “Hope” as expressed in Psalm 33:22
Congregation: Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you
Pastor: “Confidence” as expressed in Psalm 27:3
Congregation: Though war arise against me, yet I will be confident
Pastor: “Zeal” as expressed in Psalm 69:9
Congregation: Zeal for your house has consumed me
Pastor: “Love” as expressed in Psalm 18:1
Congregation: I love you, O Lord, my strength
Pastor: “Awe” as expressed in Psalm 33:8
Congregation: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him
Pastor: “Exultation” as expressed in Psalm 21:1
Congregation: In your salvation how greatly he exults
Pastor: “Marveling” as expressed in Psalm 118:23
Congregation: This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes
Pastor: “Delight” as expressed in Psalm 1:2
Congregation: His delight is in the law of the Lord
Pastor: “Joy” as expressed in Psalm 4:7
Congregation: You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound
Pastor: “Gladness” as expressed in Psalm 9:2
Congregation: I will be glad and exult in you
Pastor: “Gratitude” as expressed in Psalm 35:18
Congregation: I will thank you in the great congregation
Pastor: “Peace” as expressed in Psalm 4:8
Congregation: In peace I will both lie down and sleep

Note – all scripture text is from the NIV (Zondervan Publishing)

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One thought on “A Responsive Reading using the Breadth of Emotions Conveyed in the Psalms”

  1. Just wanted to express my gratitude that you are using the Psalms for more than a spacer between Job and Proverbs. So often we just rush over them in our liturgy, just trying to get the metre, that their true meanings are nearly lost.
    I’ve started writing daily devotions based on the Psalms and have a number of musicians supporting the work. While I’ve only been working on the project a few months, I’ve suspect that every emotion that our Lord gave human beings is represented.
    May the Holy Spirit bless your studies of his Word.

    Ed

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