“We are all trying to walk out of the Covid pandemic and some of us may still feel wary of the virus. I wanted to relate the word 罩 in 口罩, which we use everyday, to the truth that God will cover and protect us – 上帝罩你,” said Pastor Matthew L Tan.

“We are all trying to walk out of the Covid pandemic and some of us may still feel wary of the virus. I wanted to relate the word 罩 in 口罩, which we use everyday, to the truth that God will cover and protect us – 上帝罩你,” said Pastor Matthew L Tan.

What better way to ring in the new year than with a new Chinese New Year song that speaks of God’s covering and protection?

In a new music video by Pastor Matthew L Tan of Sowers Music, 我有上帝罩我呢 (which means “God covers me” in Mandarin) depicts the sights and sounds of Chinese New Year – including the colours of Chinatown and an intimate reunion dinner – as five singers belt out an upbeat melody about God’s love filling homes and hearts this new year.

Asked about the inspiration behind the song’s lyrics, the 51-year-old worship consultant told Salt&Light that he centred them around the Mandarin word 罩, which is used in the term 口罩 (“face mask” in Mandarin). 罩 also means to cover or protect.

“We are all trying to walk out of the Covid pandemic and some of us may still feel wary of the virus. I wanted to relate the word 罩 in 口罩, which we use everyday, to the truth that God will cover and protect us: 上帝罩你,” he said.

Welcoming God’s presence in Chinese New Year

Ps Matthew, who has served in the worship ministry in the Chinese Church for 20 years, has been writing Chinese New Year songs with a Christian slant since 2016, after a friend from China asked him if Christians in Singapore celebrate Chinese New Year.

“I wanted to relate the word 罩 in 口罩, to the truth that God will cover and protect us: 上帝罩你.”

“I realised that lots of non-believers have a misconception that Christianity is a Western religion, and that Chinese Christians only care about holidays like Christmas and Good Friday and don’t bother about Chinese New Year. But actually, we do. It’s our heritage,” he told Salt&Light.

He added that churches in Singapore often tweak the lyrics to secular Chinese New Year songs to include Christian lyrics, which he finds a bit old-fashioned. “We need to write songs that are ours, not just translated secular songs,” he said.

The first song he released in 2016 proved to be a hit in China, garnering over five million views on Chinese video-streaming platform Tencent Video.

Since then, he has released a new Chinese New Year song and accompanying music video every year. In 2021, he also released a 16-min Chinese New Year short film starring Felicia Chin, which can be found on his YouTube channel.

“Wishing you everlasting blessings/ Let blessings embrace you/ May your cup overflow/ May God make your heart sweet/ May God’s love never end and fill your home,” goes the lyrics of the chorus. Screenshot from the music video.

This year, he hopes that the song and its lyrics will speak to both the Christians and non-Christians, reminding them that God’s love is present during this time and His protection is far greater than any virus or pandemic.

Urging his fellow Christians to demonstrate God’s love by inviting foreigners among us who may not be able to return home for the festive season this year, he added: “Don’t just share the gift of hongbaos (red packets) but also a word or an act of love to strangers, whether they are Chinese or not.

“May we become 福 and bring 福 to others as we receive 福 from God.”

Catch the full music video here:


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About the author

Gracia Lee

Gracia is a journalism graduate who thoroughly enjoys people and words. Thankfully, she gets a satisfying dose of both as a writer at Salt&Light. When she's not working, you will probably find her admiring nature or playing Monopoly Deal with her little brother.

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