Missio Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis 1 (August 2010)

music_note Music Article

Following God’s Tune into the Australian Rock Scene

Del Hoehn

"New Day"

by Sunset Riot




To me, the missio Dei is the core expression, the heartfelt desire, of the message that a loving Father is trying to get across to his beloved children. To do so he chose a specific time, a specific place, and a specific way to communicate his love. The time, place, and circumstance—from the manger to the cross and open tomb—are vastly different from my own routine. As I walk from my morning train to the office I am surrounded by crowds of people, all going somewhere or late for something. As I buy my groceries I am surrounded by throngs of people all on budgets and schedules and with a million things occupying their already crowded minds. As I go about my countless daily activities, surrounded by many different people, most of whom I will never even speak to, I am reminded that one thing has not changed from his day to mine: his people are still walking upon his earth, further from him than he would like, further than he ever intended. The Father still longs for his children; still, after all this time, like a mother waiting for her grown child to come visit after a long absence or two lovers being reunited after a stint apart. His heart yearns to spend time with us.

To put the mission of the Almighty effectively into practice in my daily life I need to break down the walls of my “routine,” see past the cultural differences of those who worship him in a different way, and learn to look through the eyes of a Father who doesn’t see crowds but rather individuals, who isn’t blinded by budgets and lists and “to-do’s” but instead sees hearts—hearts longing for completion and love and acceptance.

The missio Dei happens in its purest form, in my opinion, where his created beings live within the sphere of influence in which he has created them. I live and work within an industry that seeks freedom and glorifies the rebel attitude. My participation in God’s mission among this culture happens when I rebel against the mindset that says I must adhere to and glorify the “sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll” lifestyle. True freedom is not being bound to carnal lust but instead choosing to follow the Father’s guidance in all areas, which includes natural desires.

Del is a vocalist for Sunset Riot, a rock band in Sydney, Australia. His aim is to use music to weave the message of God’s love into an industry that is often filled with darkness, greed, and debauchery. His band, Sunset Riot, while made up of believing members, plays in pubs, clubs, and bars as well as youth groups and schools. It is his firm belief that the missio Dei belongs amongst the people at a very grassroots level: change begins with belief. See Sunset Riot’s webpage at http://sunsetriot.com.au and meet them (in a social networking sort of way) at http://facebook.com/sunsetriot.