Sacred Music: In This Very Room
During the 2008 Prop 8 campaign in California, I was having a hard time with the Church. Never had I been so upset with my leaders. Eventually I realized I needed to take a break from church until after the campaign was over, and during that difficult time I found sanctuary at a local United Church of Christ congregation. This congregation featured a gay pastor and many of the congregants were likewise LGBT. It meant so much for me to go every week and see this community lovingly enfold its gay members. It meant so much to me to hear Jesus’s words preached to me every week by an LGBT man. And the music …. well, the music brought me to tears more than once.
One song I heard during one of my visits to IUCC was “In This Very Room,” sung by a young Latino man. I don’t know if he was gay, but the sentiments in this song felt like a warm embrace to anyone who has ever struggled with self-love or acceptance by their community.
“In this very room there’s quite enough love for one like me,
And in this very room there’s quite enough joy for one like me,
And there’s quite enough hope and quite enough power to chase away any gloom,
For Jesus, Lord Jesus … is in this very room.”
The following two verses expand the notion of “enough love” to everyone in the world. I found myself quite moved by this song, and when I found a You Tube video of a gay and lesbian choir singing this song, it seemed wonderfully appropriate. This choir changes “Jesus” to “a spirit,” no doubt trying to be inclusive towards all those in the choir and audience who were not Christian. But I have to admit that I love the Jesus phrasing the best. My Jesus is indeed a Jesus who infuses our lives and emboldens us with a love that transcends all barriers.
Below is a clip of the gay and lesbian chorus, and below that is a clip of a soloist singing the song with the Jesus phrasing. Both are beautiful and reflect my vision of godly, inclusive love.