A choir featuring members of 65 churches and ministries across the United Kingdom came together virtually in the height of the pandemic to record their own version of a new song. Nashville-based Grammy-nominated gospel singer Kari Jobe and her husband Cody Carnes, Steven Furtick and Chris Brown wrote “The Blessing” just as the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Jobe’s video has garnered more than 56 million views and nearly 38,000 comments on YouTube.
Inspired by the song, a UK ministry recorded a virtual music video, gaining more than 4.8 million views on YouTube. They began a trend. From New Zealand to France and the Caribbean to South Africa, groups created their own unique versions, sharing their culture and their faith. There are even versions from the Arab world, India, and a Jewish rendition in Hebrew, whose 3.8 million views affirm the universal message of peace.
“I believe I just got the tiny glimpse of heaven on earth that I’ve always wanted—no difference in races, backgrounds, denominations, shapes, sizes, voices,” reads one of the 6,158 comments on the 6-minute UK video’s YouTube page. “Just children of God. Not different types of churches. But just one.”
The words of the song are from Numbers 6:24-26:
“The Lord bless you. And keep you. Make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace. Amen.”
The producers of the UK video wished to convey the message that we should all be a blessing to our fellows, particularly the needy. And they followed their musical message with real-time commitment. Participating churches provided more than 400,000 meals to the elderly and high-risk members of the community in the months after Britain underwent a sweeping COVID-19 lockdown in the spring of 2020.
Christian worship leader Tim Hughes, who organized “The U.K. Blessing,” received a note of thanks from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson shortly after the music video was released. In a personal letter to Hughes, Johnson presented him the “Points of Light Award,” a prize that, since 2014, has been given to individuals who impact society positively.
“At a time when our churches are closed, I am filled with admiration to hear how you have used the power of music to bring together Christians of all denominations from across our United Kingdom,” Johnson wrote. “Your sensational singing masterpiece is truly uplifting and has touched millions around the world with its message of hope and its beauty.”
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