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Recently I have become aware of traditions of public devotional singing.  This is interesting as I am trying to understand what is going on either inside or outside some Australian Churches that seem to have problems with public devotional singing.  So here is my evidence so far:

1) In an article in Jocelyn Brewer describes public worship as a Hare Krishna – “On Saturday nights you could find me alternatively at a Whitlam’s gig (it was the 90’s) or dressed in a sari chanting and dancing my way up and down George Street – a practise called sankirtan, public devotional singing – believed to purify and bring about higher consciousness.”

2) While at a restaurant yesterday a group of islanders broke into song with the occasional reference to Jesus.  This was before the singing of Happy Birthday.

3) This flashmob in the UK performed by students in a college I used to work with.  I’d say at but that may sound like I was teaching there which I was not.

Each of these is public devotional singing – no question – outside of a church – no question.  Yet many of the people I know would only participate in public devotional singing if it was evangelistic.

On top of this I read this week that Hillsong United’s latest Album Zion topped the iTunes chart.  This is confirmed on the veritable source of all internet knowledge – Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_(Hillsong_United_album).  This music again I guess will not be used for public devotional singing.

So why aren’t white Pentecostals and others doing this?

Something for me to consider?

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My series on holiday books didn;t get far and I am trying to get back into bloggin in the midst of moving from an open plan desk to an office/cubicle arrangement.

Regardless I was musing what to write today when I read the latest blog posting of Greg Boyd.  Now before you decide I am a heretic because I read Greg Boyd’s blog be aware I do so because I think much of his research is solid even if I don’t totally agree with the conclusions he reaches.  Anyway I read:

Nowhere in the New Testament does it say we’re supposed to spread the Kingdom by inviting people to our church services. We’re supposed to spread the Kingdom by bringing the Kingdom to them. What better way than by throwing the best parties in town and doing it on their turf!

For those unaware Greg is a mega church pastor, a theologian, a musician and a bit of a stirrer to put it in Aussie parlance.

I love his heart which I understand as lets get the Kingdom out in amongst the people, have the Bible as truly our standard as we try and follow Jesus more faithfully in this world.

And that is enough good stirring to make me a fan.

As I have said earlier this week I am a romantic. For many years I have been reading Dilbert. One week Scott Adams, Dilbert’s writer had some guest writers including Greg Evans who writes Luann. I started reading Luann because it was not a southern American based comic strip like the name implied but one about “people” struggling in relationships at school, home and work. I am hooked to this day and delighted that finally Toni and Brad are on a date.

At the other extreme I have been listening to Martyn Joseph for around 20 years. I have only seen him in concert once, by the grace of my wonderful wife letting me go when we were in London one weekend. I missed Martyn when he was in Australia back in the 80s. His music has undergone change over the years and some songs I hated initially I now love and others I may cringe at if I had an LP player still.

Yesterday my wonderful wife was upset about something while we were driving along. I see our lives more as romantic, like Luann, but at that moment the words of a Martyn Jospeh song came into my head, “Everything in Heaven comes apart“. It is based on a poem by Stewart Henderson and having heard both Steve and Martyn perform it is a joy now for me to remember this song says ultimately that heaven does not destroys things but explains things when they come apart. The words say “Comes apart explains itself and shows it’s complex ways To see at last is to be free from a complicated maze” Heaven, the life to come, is not an end but an explanation and some days when we are upset we want explanations not the wait for heaven.  We want to get out of the complicated maze and just to know.

The romantic in me wants life to be Luann but the reality is that it is more like a Martyn Joseph song and I am glad to have both in my life.