One of this past year's movies (actually 1992) that I enjoyed most was "Sister Act." (It's now available on video tape). It's about a "loose" woman (played by Whoopi Goldberg) who witnesses a murder. In order to keep her safe until she is able to testify in court, she is disguised as a nun. This "new life" makes both her and her sister nuns very uncomfortable at first. It eventually becomes a transforming and renewing experience for all.
One thing that is transformed is the church music. Whoopi takes over the direction of the sisters' choir. She adapts some popular love songs into anthems of praise for God. ("My Guy" becomes "My God"). The use of romantic imagery to describe the worshipper's relation to God may seem scandalous to some, but I think not.
David H. C. Read has pointed out that the two most powerful instincts in human beings are for religion and sex. He writes: "That may account for the fact that when religion loses its grip on society, sex is apt to take over as the reigning god."
Read tells of seeing the novelist, John Updike, being interviewed on television about one of his books. He was asked how he reconciled the strong religious themes in his novel with its candid treatment of sex. Updike, a confessed Christian and churchgoer, indicated that he saw no discrepancy. He expressed his belief that these two great instincts are not necessarily at war, but that our sense of belonging to God relates to everything profoundly human. On the spur of the moment he put the case flippantly: "People go to church because they want to live forever. They go to bed because they want to feel what it's like."
©C. David Hess