A former professor of mine, Dr. Peter Beck, once posted, “The worship songs we sing on Sunday morning are often the only catechesis (instruction in things of faith and doctrine) people receive,” and because of this, what we sing on Sunday morning is important. Often, we are looking for songs that are theologically rich and help aid in moving the Gospel forward.
This Sunday, the pre-service song will be Reckless Love. The word reckless can be a little off putting when we are talking about God’s love. Webster defines reckless as, “marked by lack of proper caution: careless of consequences.” Could it be that God’s love did not take the proper caution or think through the consequences when it comes to sending Christ to be the redeeming sacrifice? The song is filled with powerful metaphors that give pictures of how God’s love interacts with his creation. Take this line from the Chorus for example:
O it chases me down, fights till I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
To the world, God’s love seems reckless. To pursue a person with the kind of love the song lays out is something that is made for a good movie. Constant pursuit, never giving up on someone, can often lead to reckless decisions. It would be reckless for a shepherd to surrender his post of watching over ninety- nine sheep, to rescue one of them. This love that lays a life down for others to have life is a sacrifice the world cannot understand. To the world, love of self is to be stronger than love of others. To the world, God’s love does not make sense. God’s love is reckless.
To the church, God’s love is purposeful. 1 John 4:9-11 says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
This past Sunday, Dave talked about how Scripture gives us the plan of God’s redemption for His people. Scripture tells the story of God’s love from Genesis to Revelation, and often this love is worked out through what seems like reckless acts. Yet, these reckless acts point to a purpose in the work of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection. As we sing, hear the Word read and preached, and meet at the table through Sacrament, let us be reminded that God’s love for us is stronger than any love than offered to us. What seems reckless to the world is the very thing that pushes us forward to love God and our neighbor.