Discussing emotions and Christianity is a tricky thing.
Many Christians criticize emotion in religion, especially excessive emotions and the appeal to emotions. The search for a specific feeling whether it be an ecstatic experience or the beatific visage displayed by the praise worshippers, waving their hands or just the quiet smile that is evidence that one is feeling the Spirit can be a substitute sacrament. Emotions can become the guarantee, the proof that God is at work.
Certainty is a powerful motivator and the need for it can push people to find God in the subjective feelings generated by music or manipulation or preaching or circumstance. Such emotions are eschewed (rightly) by liturgical, sacramental, "Scriptural" worship.
And yet ...
Do not emotions play a part in our experience of God? Are emotions themselves bad in the experience of a Christian relation to God?
I get a chill down my spine almost every time I sing "For all the Saints"? What am I to make of the chill? Do we almost involuntarily associate such feelings with the presence of God, with the work of His Spirit? Is the chill a God given reaction to the happy promise of eternal life and reunion with the saints who have gone before? Is it a gift from God given to inspire in me a healthy desire to continue fighting the battle of faith and to walk through this wilderness toward the goal of heaven?
Or is it just an involuntary reaction to manipulative music? A purely human response to the expectation of death, the naturalness of grief? Fatigue, hunger, a viral infection? What difference between that chill and the grin of the fool at the psychic's table who has just heard the voice of his father from beyond reasurring him that he is ok?
And what of all the other times when there is no emotion, the vast majority of instances when I feel nothing at the Lord's Supper, when it is everyday and routine?What of the deadness and the irritation, when the faces of the parishioners annoy me, when I am daydreamy and feel absent? Does this indicate a lack of God's work? What if I am not really, really "sorry" for my sins, save in a vague intellectual way? Is that real? Must I cry tears to show that I am indeed in a state of true repentance?
The Lutheran insistence on the objective character of the Gospel and faith's crazy solitary insistence on the promises of Christ in the face of all else is helpful in the midst of these questions, at least I find it to be so. Christ's promises in the Supper are real no matter what emotions. His forgiveness is blood bought and real and conveyed to me by his divine promise of absolution, no matter what my unfeeling reception of them. My tears do not establish the certainty of my status as a baptized child of God, only Christ's humble staus as sinner on my behalf and his presence in the water do that.