This is a continuation of a blog reflecting on a sermon I gave referencing the popular worship song, “Reckless Love.”
A woman came to speak with me after the service Sunday night and she was more than happy to use the term “reckless love of God.” I told her, “good.”
She understood the meaning behind it and the fact that it was relatable to her really helped.
That’s a helpful distinction I think! This is what parables do. They aren’t fully accurate depictions of God, or of Heaven or whatever it may be describing. No, they explain something in a way that will relate to us. They stir up our emotions so we can make some sense of what God is like – BUT NO PARABLE COMPLETELY AND ACCURATELY DESCRIBES GOD TO A ‘T!’
It’s why you can come away thinking God is portrayed as reckless after reading Luke 15:3-7, but come away thinking that God is extremely patient and generous after reading Luke 15:11-32.
Anyway, I’m sure there’s a conversation to be had there, but it’s a little off topic of where I want to go.
This woman and I started talking about church music and the words we sing and how they stick with us. Old church hymns have been replaced by modern worship songs in a lot of places today, including Hope for the most part, and especially at the Living Room. And I’ll be the first to say that some hymns carry a particular theological slant that I don’t necessarily agree with either, but for the most part hymns carry a lot more Scripture in them than most modern worship songs do.
Hymns are majoritively Scripture put to music, whereas, I’d say, that most modern worship songs have a Scripture reference or two in a verse or in the chorus, but built around that, the rest of the song might just be devotional poetry and opinion (not all. some are really good at pulling out Scripture and putting music to it.). Most of the time the opinions are commonly held and shared around the big C Church, but we really are singing the artistic opinion of other people. Take that for what you will.
But I did find it extremely interesting when I asked if anyone felt at all uneasy singing the phrase in worship and no one raised a hand or spoke up. To me that speaks volumes about how we tend to accept and sing whatever is up there without thinking about it at all!
The church used to sing songs that quoted a lot of Scripture and that’s how they learned and memorized Scripture, AND how they built their theology. Today we sing songs that are more filled with someone’s personal devotional poetry and we don’t often question any of it.
I think we should. I think we should be more intentional about taking it upon ourselves to consider the words of the songs we sing and what they mean for us, as well as what they might mean for others, and carefully consider whether or not a song is altogether helpful for any given, individual, and unique worshiping community.
Maybe we should spend some time writing worship songs in our context; songs by us for us!?!
In my sermon, and in the first blog, I called into question whether “Reckless Love” is better served as a personal favourite for your playlist or private devotional time with God rather than as a congregational confession of who/how we believe God is.
Having considered the points made in these reflections, what do you reckon?