Coronavirus Updates

The Blessing: Have you heard these creative covers yet?

by Fiona Teh // June 23, 2020, 11:53 am

THE BLESSING WORLDWIDE

It’s been more than a month since UK churches started the ball rolling with their cover of The Blessing – a song you must have heard at least one version of by now.

The global hit was written in one sitting by Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe, Chris Brown (not the celebrity) and Steven Furtick and released on March 20, 2020, just as the full force of COVID-19 was felt in most parts of the world.

In a Billboard article published on April 1, 2020, singer-songwriter Kari Jobe commented on the song’s release during the current pandemic: “We had no idea that the timing of this song would fall at such an incredibly sensitive time for our globe.”

“I’m so thankful that (God’s) promises are promises of peace and strength. He says that in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart because He’s overcome it. He’s always with us, in every season.

“We pray this song will bring great peace in the midst of uncertainty and sickness.”

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Since the song’s release, at least 20 countries have covered it in a similar way to the first cover by the UK churches, with worship leaders and singers across churches and denominations coming together – albeit filming alone in their homes – to sing and proclaim the Aaronic blessing over their country during this difficult time.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons, “This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: ‘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.'” (Numbers 6:22-24)

Thousands around the world have joined their voices in a diverse chorus of languages and dialects spanning French, Ghanaian, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Irish, Malay, Mandarin, Nepali, Nigerian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Turkish, Vietnamese, Xhosa and more, giving us a beautiful picture of the Church, unlike anything we’ve really seen before.

Here are several creative twists of the song cover we think you should check out if you have not already.

3 COVERS OF “THE BLESSING” YOU MAY NOT HAVE SEEN YET

1. The Blessing in Sign Language

The Blessing has been signed in the various Sign Languages such as the BSL (British Sign Language) and the ISL (Irish Sign Language). The good people behind our local production, The Blessing SG, also released a Sign Language version alongside 772 singers from 177 local churches and movements.

Our cover for the Deaf community was led by Li Sa Wang, who does sign language and Deaf education research with the Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at NTU.

There are several churches in Singapore with ministries for the Deaf community, such as Brighton Community Church, where most of the signing participants of The Blessing SG come from.

Faith Community Baptist Church’s Deaf ministry started in 1989, with a full service launched in 2000 for people with varying levels of deafness. 

World Revival Prayer Fellowship (WRPF)’s Deaf Faith Fellowship (DFF) is led by deaf pastor Barnabas Phua, who even takes the community on mission trips to neighbouring countries.

2. The Irish Blessing – not what you expect!

The Irish were inspired by the various international recordings of The Blessing and made it their own by selecting a song “that would resonate across the island, with every denomination and cultural grouping”, according to their caption on YouTube. 

300 Christian churches and organisations all over Ireland were included in the project, which, instead of The Blessing, features well-known hymn Be Thou My Vision, based on a poem written over 1,000 years ago by Irish Christian poet St. Dallán Forgaill.

“It reminds us of the One to whom we should look in this time of pandemic, whose presence is our light, the source of our wisdom, in whom we find our treasure and where we find victory,” they write.

These first two stanzas of the hymn, like the bridge from The Blessing, highlights God’s omnipresence (Psalm 139:7-12) and the indwelling of His Holy Spirit in His believers (1 Corinthians 3:16).

“Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, by day or by night;
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.”

3. The Blessing in Hebrew

The blessing that’s recorded in Numbers 6:24-26 is one that God instructed Moses to give to the people of Israel through Israel’s first appointed High Priest, Moses’ brother Aaron – that’s why it’s also commonly referred to as the Aaronic Blessing.

Since most of us only know the English translation of Scripture, we often miss out on the cultural imagery packed in the original language. In this cover, Joshua Aaron, an American Messianic Jewish artiste, sings The Blessing in original Hebrew over the land of Israel.

The Hebrew word for peace, used in the original Aaronic Blessing is “shalom’’, which encompasses the idea of completeness, soundness, welfare, and peace. It comes from the root word, “shalam’’, meaning “to be complete or sound”.

Listening to The Blessing, especially in this time of global uncertainty, perhaps many of us would have felt especially touched hearing the last line of the chorus: “And give you peace”. We need peace more than ever!

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

The peace God gives is one that guards your heart and mind, that you may be whole and complete, not lacking anything. What a beautiful picture of the core message of The Blessing.

Singapore’s most popular verse in 2019 is…

Dear reader, we too want to echo the blessing that has now been sung over and over around the world and pray it over you. “May God watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 121:8).

Here’s a playlist of the global covers to put on repeat!

And for a little bonus, check out Full Gospel Church KL’s Father’s Day edition of The Blessing, sung by 52 fathers from the church congregation to bless their families and children (and their children, and their children).

About the author

Fiona Teh

Fiona is low-key hilarious, a dog person, and she loves a good chat with strangers – particularly at Yakun. She also believes that everyone should know that they are absolutely worthy of love.