Whoopi Goldberg belts out the song “I Will Follow Him” at the end of the movie “Sister Act I,” 1992, as we see the Pope sitting in the church balcony clapping in time to the music.  The song first appeared in France as an instrumental in 1961 but was recorded by Percy Faith in 1963 earning him a gold record.  Petula Clark released a French version in 1962 that was popular in Europe.  But it was Little Peggy March, age 15, the youngest female artist in the U.S. to do a chart-topping single, brought the song to fame in the U.S. and she was nominated for the Grammy Awards in 1964.  This is a world wide song translated into multiple languages!  Back to Whoopi, disguised as a “nun” in a San Francisco convent who leads a choir that brings music that “speaks” to the young people into church.  What a beautiful example of taking a fisher-woman and making her into a fisher of people.  I love it.  The lyrics, “I will follow him, wherever he may go, there isn’t an ocean too deep, a mountain too high to keep me away from his love…” give voice to the devotion and dedication of the nuns Sister Mary Clarence is staying with.

         Two weeks ago Jesus called four disciples in Mark 1, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, James and his brother John, and invites them to be fishers of men.  “Follow me!” is the invite.  Mark’s first “event” that he shares to open his gospel is these followers first Sabbath with Jesus.  In the morning at the synagogue a man with an “unclean spirit” interrupts Jesus preaching.  Jesus casts out the spirit and silences it.  After church they go home to find the hostess, Peter’s mother-in-law, sick in bed with a fever and Jesus immediately extends his hand, lifts her up and restores her to serve.  By evening the sick and demon possessed from town have gathered to be helped.  By the end of this Sabbath day, the invitation to “follow” has seen the mountains of joy at restoration and the ocean of tears filled with despair.  Whew!

         But perhaps more amazing is that we too are invited to be followers, to sing the song with Whoopi, “I will follow him wherever he may go.”  How comforting to know that we go with him to experience those mountain tops and he is with us as we walk through the low times.  Please enjoy the Whoopi Goldberg version of this song and think of the invitation to follow Jesus.   

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