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Calvin Harris

Choirs, Cathedrals... and Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris is currently the number one highest-payed DJ in the world.

Calvin Harris is also from the rainy west-coast Scottish town of Dumfries. Those two things barely seem to add up given that he now plays huge gigs in hot countries – but we can ignore that for now.

Suffice to say, Scottish students love Calvin Harris even more than most: he’s one of our own and we’re proud of him. So, want to get a cathedral full of Scottish students listening to your carol service talk? He might just be the best person to quote.

‘I get all the girls, I get all the girls, I get all the girls, I get all the girls,’ said Joe Winstone, a former UCCF Relay Worker and now a trainee with the Michael Ots Evangelism Trust. Thankfully, he was quoting Calvin Harris’ first breakthrough single. Joe was speaking at the Strathclyde and Caledonian CUs’ carol service held in Glasgow Cathedral. Quoting this song got everyone’s attention and a couple of laughs, but Joe then contrasted that song with one of Calvin’s new ones: ‘How Deep Is Your Love?’

Open up my eyes and

Tell me who I am

Let me in on all your secrets

No inhibition, no sin

How deep is your love?

Is it like the ocean?

What devotion? Are you?

How deep is your love?

Is it like Nirvana?

Hit me harder, again

How deep is your love?

All of a sudden Calvin Harris is asking much deeper questions; questions of identity, what love is and what’s out there. Joe used this quote to show that even though life can seem like a constant party, the big questions we ask don’t stop coming up. Calvin Harris has gone from bragging about his love life to seeking out the real meaning of love. Joe then said this:

‘To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial; to be known but not loved is our greatest fear; but to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything.’

From Calvin Harris’ pursuit of the perfect love to our own desire to be perfectly loved, Christmas is all about God showing His perfect love by coming down Himself, as a baby, into our suffering and painful world. In his account of Jesus’ life, John wrote: ‘The light shines into the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.’ Jesus showed His love by coming to us, to deal with the darkness, not just leaving us alone with it.

Joe ended with this: ‘Maybe as you’ve heard this gift being unwrapped, you’re really not sure – and that’s fine. Why don’t you unwrap it some more this Christmas? It’s tempting to get caught up in the wrapping when the gift is there to see, so if you know it’s there, why stay in the wrapping looking for it?’

Around 280 guests joined us in Glasgow Cathedral to sing carols, accompanied by a fantastic choir. After the event, I talked to some non-Christian students who had been invited along by their friends. Many had been grabbed by the Calvin Harris quote and then really listened to the rest of the talk. Quite a few took away a copy of Uncover John, UCCF’s seeker-friendly edition of John’s Gospel.

Please do pray for the Strathclyde and Caledonian CU members as they encourage their friends to dig into this gospel and to continue unwrapping the gift of Jesus.

Simon Attwood works with Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian Christian Unions as a UCCF Staff Worker. 

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