It’s quite funny that this specific passage was given to me to reflect and write on. I even chuckled a little bit to myself as I was reading this text over and over again. There’s been a song that has been stuck in my head called “Reckless Love” which has a chorus with the following lyrics:
“Oh the overwhelming, never-ending,
reckless love of God.
Oh it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found,
leaves the 99.”
Although there have been some backlash for the use of the word “reckless” (and maybe it wasn’t the perfect word choice), I can understand the intention that the songwriter was going for.
A shepherd leaving his 99 sheep just to find the one lost sheep isn’t a sensible or even logical thing to do. In fact, most people would call it ‘careless’ or ‘reckless’ for leaving the other 99 unattended. While the world says it isn’t worth it to chase down the one lost sheep, the love of God says otherwise. To the Lord, the one lost sheep is indeed so valuable and is most definitely worth being found.
Why? Because ALL people matter to the Lord.
This overwhelming, never-ending, reckless kind of love for His people is SO extravagant that He would go to extreme measures for humanity to have a restored relationship with Him. God’s heart has always been and always will be about people.
Often within our church ministries, we easily get fixated with our service orders, the lights, the programs, and functions. We end up focusing more on production rather than people. I’m reminded in this text that what Jesus valued most in ministry was people—those who were broken, lost, sinners—those who had ears to hear.
Within the very seats of our churches are people who are lost, broken, and in need of knowing about this God who pursues them so intently. May each one of us and our ministries continue to capture and extend this overwhelming love of God. I pray that we would spend time engaging with our church community in deeper conversation and to put value in relationships above all else.
Lenten Reader 2018
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