la la la la la la la la

A few years ago, I brought my car in to get its tyres changed, and as I waited, I sat down in the food court of the nearby shopping mall, trying to get some work done on a Bible talk that I was preparing.

As I sat and worked, I found myself disturbed by a little girl who was loudly singing... "la la la la la la la la" as she danced around. The tune sounded vaguely familiar. I looked at her and marvelled: "Only a child could get away with being that unashamedly, publically joyful," I thought to myself. She just looked so absolutely happy, and couldn't care less about looking silly in front of onlookers. I almost envied her.

After a while, the little girl's mother came along. "Hey - you're not in church now, dear!" she smiled, whisking the girl off to the next shop. Suddenly it hit me: The tune she'd been singing was "Celebrate Jesus, Celebrate!" I was shocked out of my arduous exegetical work... How amazingly appropriate that this sort of unashamed joy was a product of church - and how appropriate that it couldn't be contained by church, but spilt out into the most idolatrous of places, a shopping mall.

Hmm... "Out of the mouths of infants you have ordained praise"....

After a while, I returned to my talk preparation, with a renewed awareness of the privilege of the work, and a new tune in my head: Celebrate Jesus... Celebrate!

Matthew R Malcolm has joined theologer.com to guest blog about once a week. He blogs at Crypto-Theology.