This is our third summer with COVID. In some places, life looks a lot more “normal.”
Travel has resumed in many areas but often the souvenir travelers carry with them is a positive COVID test. China continues to restrict border crossings and closely monitors COVID cases, shutting down communities and cities even when just a few cases are found.
As the new school year approaches and COVID cases have increased, students (and their parents) face the possibility of renewed mask mandates and COVID testing.
It seems COVID will be with us for quite a while.
One common symptom of COVID is fatigue. But I think most of us, regardless of testing positive or negative, have a bit of COVID-fatigue. We would just like it to end.
I thought we could all use some encouragement, so I looked back and found a ChinaSource Blog post from just about two years ago. It reminded me of a pandemic blessing I’d forgotten. And it encouraged me.
In the lightly edited words of my colleague, Joann Pittman:
“Wherever you are in this [third] summer of pandemic, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you.“
Last week (on July 29) Christianity Today published an article about the worship song “The Blessing” and how it has become a global phenomenon during the pandemic.
Just a couple of weeks before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the US, Kari Jobe held a songwriting session with her husband, Cody Carnes, and Elevation Worship’s Steven Furtick and Chris Brown. Together, they set to music one of the Bible’s best-known benedictions, Numbers 6:24–26:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
When they introduced “The Blessing” at an Elevation Church campus near Charlotte, North Carolina, on March 1, Jobe told worshipers that the lyrics represent “the heart of the Father over us as his kids” and invited them to receive the song as “a blessing over you and your family and your children.”
They had no idea how many Christians would want to hear and sing out those words as the pandemic spread in the months to come. In just five months, “The Blessing” has become a chart-topping hit and viral sensation covered by more than 100 virtual choirs around the globe.
Since then the song has become popular for “virtual choirs” all over the world, with more than 100 versions in numerous languages.
Beyond the US and England, compilations have been made in Australia, Burma, Chile, Canada, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Romania, Spain, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe. “The Arab World Blessing” features singers from 16 Arab-speaking countries in the Middle East, North Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Egypt, and South Sudan.
Earlier this month, a Mandarin Chinese version was posted to YouTube.
Wherever you are in this summer of pandemic, may the Lord make his face to shine upon you.
This post, “The Blessing—China” by Joann Pittman was published originally on August 7, 2020.
Narci Herr and her husband, Glenn, lived for just over 30 years in Hong Kong. They were first involved in working with the church in Hong Kong and then for the last 20 years of their time in Asia they served workers living in China. During that time Glenn traveled extensively throughout China and Narci …View Full Bio
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