Voices combine for song to inspire, unite nation
A SONG that has become an anthem of hope for people around the world fighting coronavirus has been born again in an inspirational Australian project combining more than 300 churches.
The Blessing Australia debuted on YouTube on the weekend and is already in the top 10 trending videos.
The video features singers, musicians and dancers from across Australia as well as some of our most iconic scenery from surfers on our beaches to those battling the dry in the outback.
It follows the worldwide success of the song first created by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes and Elevation Worship which has seen more than 15 million views on YouTube alone.
The Australian version celebrates this nation's diversity with representatives from a myriad of backgrounds and denominations.
"From the bush to the beaches, the migrant to the indigenous, though girt by sea, we're not isolated, we're the great southland of the Holy Spirit,'' the opening of the video declares.
"Though the fires and drought, no virus could ever hold us down because we were made for such a time as this."
The Blessing is based on Numbers 6: 22-27 - a powerful priestly blessing in scripture spoken over families, their children and the nation of Israel for thousands of year.
'May his favour be upon you and a thousand generations, and your family and your children and their children and their children,'' is one of the lines.
"In the morning, in the evening, in your coming and your going, He is for you, He is for you.''
Organisers of the Australian video say it was put together during a time of great isolation when churches themselves were unable to meet.
COVID-19 has forced churches to meet through Facebook Live, Zoom meetings and the like.
But it has also sparked collaboration across churches.
"There is an overwhelming sense of excitement to see hundreds of churches connect over this vision in a time of physical distancing,'' organisers of the project said.
"As this ground swell of unity has grown to over 300 submissions so too has the commitment to prayer.
"At all stages of the project we have committed to daily laying this down at the foot of the cross. We ask that the Australian Church would unite together in prayer, believing that this song will impact our nation and cause widespread unity in the local church.
"While these Blessing projects are sweeping the globe at large, our video seeks to be uniquely Australian
"You will not only see diversity in the body of Christ, you will also see our diverse Australian landscapes, as people from all over our nation sing within their own local contexts.
"In this way it is our heart to display the multi-faceted and multicultural nature of the local church.
"In coming to these decisions we sought the advice and counsel of multiple Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, who gave us unified counsel in this matter.
The video was premiered on Pentecost Sunday - a time in the Christian calendar marking the outpouring of the Holy Spirit following the death and resurrection of Christ.
Just some of the churches featuring in the video include Ganggalah Church, Lifehouse Church, Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Planetshakers, Aboriginal Islander Christian Fellowship, Catholic Sisters of the Immaculata, Citipointe, Hillsong Church, Engadine Anglican, Catholic Church, Soul Survivor, C3 Sydney, Hope UC, Dayspring Church, Enjoy Church, Connexions International, MAF Arnhem Land, Heartsong Creative Academy, St Francis Xavier Catholic Cathedral, the Salvation Army. The full list of churches is here.
"Our desire is to shine the light of Jesus in a time of darkness. We hope that this song will fill you with peace and encouragement. We pray it blesses you, your children and your children's children.
"If you've got questions about life or faith, why not attend or get in contact with a local church near you. Our buildings may have been closed but the church is still very much alive! https://australianchurches.net
Otherwise try an online Alpha Course. 'Ask anything. Seriously. Find an Alpha near you.' https://alpha.org.au.
THE UK VERSION OF THE BLESSING