Hey guys, I wanted to continue the conversation from last night’s Living Room with you. I hope you’ll engage with this blog. I’d love to hear some of your thoughts and reflections from last night.
There’s a few other things I wanted to express and put out there to consider that I just couldn’t fit into the sermon, so I’ll blog them out for you.
First off, if you weren’t there or just need a reminder, my main point from last night was to try and get you to think and consider, not just this song, but all the songs we sing at church. We are so quick to adopt new songs into our context just because they’ve been published by a massive song writing church, and often (if not all the time) most of us just accept songs without any theological scrutiny first.
I suggested that the phrase ‘reckless love’ might mean something completely different to you than it does to the guy who wrote it, and completely different to the little boy or girl who’s idea of love comes from abusive parents, and again quite different to people who sleep around and decide to get married just for kicks.
So, then I questioned the validity of the song as a congregational confession of who we all believe God is versus the songs being a personal favorite in your playlist.
The whole idea is for you to fully consider the implications of such a word like ‘reckless’ when applied to God, and to do that with all the songs we sing. What sing is important because it helps shape our views and opinions of God, and the songs we sing ALL come from people who are sharing their views and opinions of God based on the experiences they’ve had with God – not based on your experiences with God.
So, I’m just saying, if nothing else, think about the words you sing, say, and pray at church.
Now that the recap is out of the way here’s a few things to consider that didn’t make the sermon lat night:
Are WE called to love recklessly?
This is good question because in many ways I think we absolutely are. BUT there’s also limitations to how reckless we are as well. I know. It sounds contradictory. Kinda like me leading you in singing “Reckless Love” at church last night and then basically tearing it down to a degree and saying that if it were up to me I don’t think I’d choose to sing this song at church anymore.
Yeah, it’s a bit like that. It’s both/and like much of theology and like much of who God is.
What I mean is this: Consider another parable – the parable of the compassionate Samaritan (I don’t really like using the traditional “good Samaritan.” I find it a little offensive. Some pastors and theologians alike are making conscious efforts to just say parable of the Samaritan or substitute another word for “good.” But that’s just a little side rant).
Luke 10:25-37 tells a familiar story of a beaten and dying man left on the side of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. There’s a whole lot of cultural and contextual stuff going on here that isn’t overly obvious. Usually the story is told with the teaching that people are selfish and too busy to care about the person dying on the side of the road, even the priest and good religious people. But what you may not know is what anyone during that time would have known – the road from Jerusalem to Jericho was perhaps the most dangerous road to travel in the ancient world. It’s a windy road that goes up and down hills and bandits would take advantage of those bends and turns to mug, beat, and kill people.
It wasn’t out of the norm to see an elaborate rouse designed to prey on people’s good will by pretending they needed help, only to attack and rob the helper.
have you ever seen the movie Book of Eli? Kinda reminds me of these scene
So with that in mind, how do you read the parable now? It wasn’t so much that the people passed him by because they lacked all compassion, but because they couldn’t be sure the same thing wouldn’t happen to them if they made themselves vulnerable enough to help.
But Jesus says if you see someone in need, the love of God compels you to put them first and you second. It mirrors God’s extravagance in giving himself up for our state of need. Jesus essentially tells the people listening to love without fear of consequence – i.e. recklessly.
But isn’t there some sort of accountability to personal safety or for the safety and responsibility one might have for their family or loved ones?
When I first moved here, one night Joce and I were driving around Hornby and I saw a homeless man sleeping under the awning by the front door of the Reformed Church on Shands Rd. My immediate conviction was to swing back around and invite him to stay at our house. I saw a man in need and felt like I needed to offer love and help. I wasn’t considering myself, or my own safety in the matter, but what’s more is that I wasn’t considering the safety of my wife, having a complete stranger sleeping in our house.
I was conflicted because my actions would have been reckless, but at the same time I felt like I was doing what Jesus would do.
What would you have done?